Monday, July 22, 2019

Experiments made in Transfer of Training or Learning Essay Example for Free

Experiments made in Transfer of Training or Learning Essay The question of transfer has been definitely put to a test in order to show far training in one line influences other lines. Many experiments and studies in transfer of training have been performed by psychologists. Starch considered the problem of transfer in two fields: 1. Transfer in Specific Psychological Activities—The experiments performed in this field were the following: Experiments in memory, by James—William James was the first to attack the problem of memory-training experimentally. He investigated the effort of memorizing one kind of material on ability to memorize other kinds of materials. James himself memorized 158 lines from Victor Hugo’s Satyr and kept record of the time spent. He then devoted thirty-eight days (20 minutes per day) to the mastery of Milton’s Paradise Lost. After his Training in memorization, he selected another 158 lines from the Satyr and memorized them. He discovered that he needed more time to learn this selection than he had spent in memorizing the first selection from the Satyr. His result showed negative transfer. From their studies James was led to believe that formal discipline is not an efficacious means of improving the memory (National Society for the Study of Education, 2000). Experiment in perception, by Thorndike and Woodworth, in 1901— Thorndike and Woodworth studied the influence of special training on the estimation of magnitudes upon the ability to estimate magnitudes of the same general type, and the influence of training in observing words containing certain other letters. Thorndike and Woodworth concluded from the first part of the experiment that there was more improvement in the ability to estimate areas similar to the practice material than in the ability to estimate dissimilar areas. The result of the second experiment showed that practice in cancelling words with certain letters had an indirect effect on the cancelling words of words with other letters (National Society for the Study of Education, 2000). Experiments in judging weights of various sizes transferred to estimation of other weights, by Coover, in 1916—these experiments showed positive transfer. Experiments in maze-learning for both rats and human, by Webb in 1971—It was concluded from the results of these experiments that there were carry over effects from practice in one sensory-motor activity to another but the amount of transfer varied with the individual subject (Morgan, 1999). From these studies of transfer two conclusions may be drawn: (a) both negative and positive transfers occur between specific learning activities: (b) the more similar the specific activities, the greater the positive transfer. In other words, whatever transfer occurred could be expanded in terms of identical elements of procedure, habits, and methods. Transfer in School Subjects—Most of the experimental studies made of transfer in high school subjects were the following: From Latin to English by Thorndike and Rugger in 1923—Thorndike and Rugger found out that their studies that high school freshmen who studied Latin made slightly higher scores in an English vocabulary test than did students who had not studied Latin, the gain made on all words derived from Latin roots. So far as pedagogical practice is concerned, Thorndike’s and Rugger’s investigation established the fact of transfer of training (Skinner, 2000). From Latin to English vocabulary, by Hamblen in 1924—Hamblen concluded that transfer from Latin to English vocabulary was great when word derivations were stressed in the teaching of Latin (Skinner, 2000). In conclusion, experiments in the effect of cross-education, in observing and judging sensory and perceptual data, and in forming sensory motor association habits have been conducted in considerable number by other psychologists. A few experiments in special school functions have also been carried out. The results obtained from the experiments in those different lines, although confusing and sometimes contradictory, seem to warrant the belief that the old idea of a vast transfer, in some subtle and unexplained way, of special improvements to a general faculty, is false. It may be summed up by saying that the weight of evidence is all against formal discipline. The experimental evidence is against the idea that the faculties or powers of the mind can be trained like muscles so that the strengthening of these powers will automatically insure a high degree of efficiency in new and unrelated material or activities.

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