Restored from the trash bin, posted for the correct week this time.
I pulled this from the Wiggins and McTighe article:
“We recommend that schools develop a public syllabus for every course, which articulates the course’s transfer-meaning-acquisiton priorities and concomitant assessments. Such an approach offers a practical means of freeing high school instruction from the dominance of the textbooks and its emphasis on acquisition. The textbook should serve as a resource, not as the syllabus.”
I am intrigued by the idea of a public syllabus. Where is this syllabus posted? Who has access to it? I can see how using and organizational structure like the one proposed in the article could really help teachers to understand why they are teaching a particular lesson and what their goals are at each step. I am sure that articulating the transferability of a course could also help a teacher to address transfer. I wonder how putting this knowledge in a public forum might effect the public’s approach to education.
How People Learn says that “knowledge that is overly contextualized can reduce transfer; abstract representations of knowledge can help promote transfer” (53). I find this concept to be a knife edge. We want to provide good context, so that a student can effectively complete a task, but we don’t want to confine learning to the context or they won’t transfer. This is particularly hairy when you also consider that “it is important to be realistic about the amount of time it takes to learn complex subject matter.” (56) Very possibly, the transfer won’t take place until much, much later. Then what?