Activating potential through


Learning Transfer: What is it and why does it matter?

Note: This is an excerpt from the manuscript of our forthcoming book. If you like these ideas, consider joining our all day virtual workshop on July 6. See details here. “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” -- Albert...

Modern Literacies: Framing new ways of knowing, doing, and thinking

Of all the phrases floating in education’s buzzword soup, 21st Century Learning has become one of the soggiest. It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with it. On the contrary, its ubiquity speaks to its relevance. It’s used by everyone everywhere. We’ve used...

Teaching for Transfer Online Learning Template

The COVID-19 outbreak is changing the way the world thinks about public health, governance, and economics. Soon, it’ll shape the way we think about education too. As an increasing number of schools move to distance and digital learning, the conversation around...


Learning Transfer Cycle

Learning transfer happens when students apply their understanding of conceptual relationships to tackle a new context. Asking students to respond to conceptual questions helps to guide their thinking. We can use a continuous cycle to ensure students have repeated exposure and practice in refining their understanding through multiple contexts.

Learning Transfer Spectrum

The Where Innovation Happens graphic illustrates how learning moves from learning transfer in the classroom to applying that knowledge to real world problems. Once we transfer to similar tasks, we can move to more complex scenarios with more authentic audiences, such as writing a persuasive piece about a public problem and submitting it to a local newspaper.

Want to learn more?

Innovators don’t invent without understanding how the world works. With this foundation, they apply conceptual understanding to solve problems. We want students to not only retain ideas, but relate them to other things they encounter, using each new situation to add nuance and sophistication to their thinking. Discover how to help learners uncover conceptual relationships and transfer them to new situations. 

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