Transfer Studies in Composition
In education, an assumption exists that what is being taught, whether it is skills, strategies or content knowledge, will continue to be useful in future contexts. Certainly educators desire the security of knowing that their work is not being left behind in vain when the semester ends. However, over the years, studies in transfer have analyzed this phenomenon and found that the usefulness of knowledge in new contexts is not easily accomplished but, instead, is a complex negotiation between old and new contexts, social constructs, student perceptions, and an ability to identify similar characteristics across situations. More recently, composition instructors and researchers have taken an interest in this question as it applies to the transfer of writing skills into future courses and professional experiences. The findings, to date, are vast, varied, and very much incomplete. Much like a puzzle beginning to take shape, transfer theory and research has focused on expansion by connecting different aspects of scholarship which has helped to define the larger picture of transfer. While, certainly, there are debates, much of the scholarly conversation around transfer has focused on expansion. Just as it is easier to see the pieces missing to a puzzle as it draws near to completion, as scholars add to the theory and research of transfer it becomes easier to identify the pieces missing from the scholarship. The two missing pieces which I will examine throughout this research is the relationship between transfer and memory, and also the impact of greater technology usage on transfer and memory.