Nurturing the seeds of transfer: A domain-specific perspective

Patricia A. Alexander, P. Karen Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Transfer, the process of using knowledge or skills acquired in one context in a new or varied context, has long been the topic of spirited debate in the research community. In this chapter, fundamental dimensions that appear to underlie effective transfer are described. These fundamentals -subject-matter knowledge, general cognitive and metacognitive strategies, and motivation, particularly interest - are referred to as the seeds of transfer. As a means of presenting these fundamentals, five generalizations about transfer, drawn from the extensive literatures in transfer, domain learning, and analogical reasoning, are summarized. In addition, potential instructional barriers to transfer are highlighted, along with critical steps deemed necessary to enhance transfer within academic settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-576
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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