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Developing knowledge transfer skills at Kambala

Mr Kim Tsolakis, Deputy Principal – Academic Growth 

Knowledge transfer skills are essential for effective lifelong learning. Kambala is reviewing current programs, as well as developing a range of new programs from Prep to Year 12 that will further embed the NSW Education and Standards Authority (NESA) Learning Across the Curriculum.

These include:

Critical and Creative Thinking;

Problem Solving;

Information and Communication Technology;

Ethical Understanding;

Intercultural Understanding;

Difference and Diversity; 

and a continued emphasis on literacy and numeracy.

Central to this work is developing student knowledge and understanding of cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies, and how they can apply them to maximise their learning outcomes.

This work has been influenced and guided by the research of Weinstein, Meyer, Schraw and other cognitive psychologists who clearly outline the knowledge and skills required, and some of the educational implications for their development from a developmental psychology perspective.

Lifelong learning has emerged as an area of considerable interest. As Bagnall (2000: 20) has stated: ‘It is now featured in practically every imaginable agenda for social change, educational policy preamble and mission statement’. 

Lifelong learning was first seriously considered during the late sixties–early seventies (e.g. Faure 1972, Husen 1974). It was seen then, as now, as a means of overcoming the problems being faced in an age of uncertainty where the two seeming constants are continuing change and growth in bodies of knowledge.

Effective learning throughout the lifespan is dependent upon highly efficient information processing and the possession and quality of basic knowledge transfer skills and knowledge centred upon cognitive and metacognitive skills (Cornford 1999a, 2000). Without the establishment of such skills, learning may not occur, or may occur, with more effort and less effectively than if individuals have a good repertoire of the most effective skills and make use of them.

Recognition of the importance of cognitive and metacognitive strategies involve the explicit teaching of specific learning skills along with subject content. However, if we are serious about achieving the ideal of lifelong learning, we must address the challenges involving process issues of learning as identified by Knapper and Cropley (2000). After all, possession of effective knowledge transfer skills is an important prerequisite for effective lifelong learning to occur. 

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