TABLE 4-2 What Is Transferable Knowledge?

Type of Knowledge Format or Cognitive Processing
Factual Integrated, rather than separate facts
Conceptual Schemas, models, principles
Procedures Automated, rather than effortful
Strategies Specific cognitive and metacognitive strategies
Beliefs Productive beliefs about learning

SOURCE: Adapted from Mayer (2010).

procedures, refines schemas and mental models, and refines cognitive and metacognitive strategies, while at the same time developing productive beliefs about learning. Through this process, the learner develops transferable knowledge, which encompasses not only the facts and procedures that support retention but also the concepts, strategies, and beliefs needed for success in transfer tasks. We view these concepts, thinking strategies, and beliefs as 21st century skills.

This proposed model of transferable knowledge reflects the research on development of expertise, which, as noted above, has distinguished differences in the knowledge of experts and novices in domains such as physics, chess, and medicine (see Table 4-3). Novices tend to store facts as isolated units, whereas experts store them in an interconnected network. Novices tend to create categories based on surface features, whereas experts create categories based in structural features. Novices need to expend conscious effort in applying procedures, whereas experts have automated basic procedures, thereby freeing them of the need to expend conscious effort in applying them. Novices tend to use general problem-solving strategies such as means-ends analysis, which require a backward strategy starting from the goal, whereas experts tend to use specific problem-solving strategies tailored to specific kinds of problems in a domain, which involve a forward strategy starting from what is given. Finally, novices may hold unproductive beliefs, such as the idea that their performance depends on ability, whereas

TABLE 4-3 Expert-Novice Differences on Five Kinds of Knowledge

Knowledge Novices Experts
Facts fragmented integrated
Concepts surface structural
Procedures effortful automated
Strategies general specific
Beliefs unproductive productive

SOURCE: Adapted from Mayer (2010).



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement