Transfer of Embodied Experiences in a Tablet Environment Towards a Pen and Paper Task
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Transfer is a key concept in learning theories: if someone manages to transfer knowledge to a new situation, it is evidence that this person has learned something beyond the initial experience. However, how such process takes place is still under debate. Cognitivism stresses the importance of generalized mental schemes, which are created when learning and are used when situations are perceived as similar. Yet, situations that are overlapping are rarely perceived as such. As such, transfer between contexts is known to be challenging. Embodied cognition argues that a lack of transfer can be explained by a lack embodied experience. Because of this, students have difficulty recognizing affordances, which are perceived actions one can do within a situation. Some research has shown learning gained by embodied tasks can be transferred between contexts. In this thesis, we question what is actually transferred according to an embodied view on learning mathematics, in this case proportionality. For this exploratory research we investigate a tablet program meant to embody proportionality and its transfer towards a pen and paper task. From existing data from a previous study, we selected six participants (aged 8 to 10) by maximum variation sampling to show what different information is transferred from a tablet task towards a pen and paper task. We show that many different behaviors are transferred from an embodied task towards another medium. These findings raise questions about how to conceptualize transfer of embodied experiences.