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Introducing the
6 Transfer
Questions
Supporting the
interdisciplinary transfer
of conceptual
understandings
Concept by Adrian von Wrede-Jervis
repurposedlearning.com
Twitter @AdrianvWJ
Updated September 2020
SOPHISTICATION=
INFORMED+NUANCED
"Over the course of the programme,
students need to develop an
understanding of the key and related
concepts at increasing levels of
sophistication and abstraction."
MYP Principles into Practice p58
INFORMED
We want students to have a competent understanding of
each subject. We want DEPTH of knowledge.
We also want them to see how the disciplinary concepts
that they learn each contribute to bigger conceptual
understandings.
Depth of Conceptual
Understanding
A disciplinary appreciation of
the interaction of pairs (or multiples)
of concepts
BASIC CONCEPTUAL
UNDERSTANDING
An identification of the
concepts present
NUANCED
We want students to appreciate that every discipline brings their unique
insights and know what those are. We want BREADTH of knowledge.
We also want them to see that contrasting disciplinary
perspectIves ENRICH conceptual understandings.
Breadth of Conceptual
Understanding
Comparing and contrasting the perspectives
and insights from multiple disciplinesGENERIC CONCEPTUAL
UNDERSTANDING
A uniform description of the
conceptual understandings
present
We write Statements of Inquiry such that they contain
conceptual understandings (the relationship between key
and related concepts) that are "transferable beyond the
content of the unit" MYP Principles into Practice p63
The trouble is we drop the SOI at the end of the unit and we
seldom check if the conceptual understanding it was carrying
actually arrived at the next unit.
EFFECTIVETRANSFER
'MEETINGPLACES'
Transfer questions
offer a place for the
different disciplinary
conceptual
understandings to meet
and share their
perspectives.
'MEETINGPLACES'
If learners can show their
reflections on these
different perspectives then
we should be able to
assess (qualitatively) how
informed and nuanced are
their conceptual
understandings
Each question is broad enough
for every subject to reference
to with their existing SOI
conceptual understandings.
Each question attracts further
concepts that could be used to
generate further conceptual
understandings by teachers (or
students). Examples are included.
THE6TRANSFER
QUESTIONS
PartA
MAKINGMEANING
1. What do we understand
about ourselves (personally
and as a humanity)?
Identity, Culture,
Empathy, Insight,
Experience, Faith
Compassion, Wisdom,
Expression, Influence,
Control , Confidence,
Ideology, Needs, Bias
2. Do our models, metaphors
and theories explain what we
observe?
Form, Structure,
Representations,
Behaviours, Inference,
Patterns, Reliability,
Belief, Opinion,
Context, Paradigms,
Confirmation Bias
3. Do we grasp the workings
of complex interrelated
systems?
Function, Systems,
Reductionism, Complexity,
Relationships, Globalism,
Connections, Networks,
Communities, Diversity,
Disturbance, Balance,
Cascades, Tipping points
PartB
TAKINGACTION
1. What motivates us to seek
change?
Purpose, Values,
Priorities, Ethics,
Power, Authority,
Responsibility, Hubris,
Problem solving,
Fairness, Technology,
Competition,
Resolution, Curiosity
2. How does change unfold?
Reasoning, Creativity,
Neccessity, Invention,
Innovation, Decision,
Critique, Skepticism,
Adaptation, Evolution,
Communication,
Revolution, Viral
3. Do we know / consider all
the impacts of the changes
we make?
Change, Causation,
Consequence,
Progress, Innovation,
Development,
Sustainability, Risk,
Prediction, Complexity,
Uncertainty, Conflict
MAKING
ITVISIBLE
Students could be asked to maintain a
reflective journal (or evolving presentation) on
the conceptual understandings that they
make as we look at each transfer question.
Set assignments based on these reflections
to make their thinking visible e.g. run an
exhibition style event called "the
Marketplace of Ideas" where kids showcase
their conceptual understandings.
In doing this students reveal how they
came to these ideas and how their
thinking changed with the insights they
gained from different disciplines.
FINAL
WORDS
The 6 Transfer Questions approach
allows students to develop and sharpen
their ability to use, apply and generate
conceptual understandings drawn from
different disciplinary perspectives.
The very act of doing this will facilitate
conceptual transfer and honour (rather
than simply generalise) disciplinary
insights.

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The 6 transfer questions updated Sept 2020