The educational system is grounded in the belief that you can teach people in one setting — the school — in order that they will be able to perform in other settings outside school. The vital process of applying knowledge and skills acquired in an educational situation to working life is known as ‘transfer’. The transfer process poses a continual challenge to all spheres of education and training, for while transfer is positively influenced by identical elements shared by the training and transfer situations, more often than not, the two are markedly dissimilar. This discussion is confined to the transfer process solely within the specialised vocational and education and training (VET) stream in Denmark. The existence of many identical elements in both training and transfer situations is known as ‘near transfer’, and is most readily achieved when training is conducted within company premises. Students find the relevance of their theoretical training to in-house application highly motivating. Cognitively, transfer is facilitated by the concrete similarities between training and its application. However, the purpose of school-based education is to develop the students’ mastery of ‘far transfer’; in other words, their ability to apply knowledge and skills to a broad range of situations. To adapt to frequent changes in the labour market, students need to develop general competences that will enable them to move to other jobs and other companies. Therefore the pedagogy of VET should provide a progression from near to far transfer. The aim of this article is to describe and discuss some of the pedagogical challenges for VET of near and far transfer.
Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 2011, Vol 1, Issue 1, p. 1-13
Transfer erhvervsuddannelserne, undervisning taksonomi