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Teaching for Transfer

A Guide for Designing Learning With Real-World Application

By: Michael McDowell

Foreword by: Jay McTighe

Empower K–12 learners to transfer their current knowledge to new contexts, navigate real-world problems, and more. This resource contains instructional strategies educators can use to build 21st century skills in learners and increase student engagement.

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A guide to instructional strategies that build transferable skills in K–12 students

Empower students to become creative, well-rounded citizens who are prepared to meet and overcome real-world challenges. With Teaching for Transfer, you’ll discover a road map for reconfiguring K–12 classroom instruction to ensure learners can expertly apply their knowledge and skills to new contexts. The resource includes ample practices and protocols you can begin using today to cultivate essential transfer-level skills in students.

  • Study the three levels of complexity: (1) surface, (2) deep, and (3) transfer.
  • Understand how foundational knowledge and skills can be leveraged to create transfer-level learning experiences and increase student engagement and problem-solving skills.
  • Learn specific teaching strategies and protocols for incorporating perspective and perplexity in the classroom to mimic real-world challenges.
  • Use end-of-chapter reflection questions individually and collaboratively, with other teachers, to build students’ transferable skills.

Related Topics

21st Century SkillsInstructionStudent Engagement


Additional Information

Product Code: BKF950

ISBN: 9781949539936

Published By: Solution Tree

Page Count: 192

We have learned the importance of surface, deep, and transfer, and that rigor is “the equal intensity and integration” of all three. Still, leaders continue to ask, “How and when do we teach to transfer?” Thus, McDowell’s book is timely and needed! In the book, he writes, “Transfer is fundamentally built on change.” He offers many visuals, examples, and reflective questions that will guide teams to ensuring these opportunities are prioritized for our learners. Most importantly, as a former history teacher at heart, I believe this book is absolutely essential given the current situation in our world amid a pandemic and protests that call for radical change to end racism. Teachers must provide an environment that intentionally promotes teaching for transfer if we are going to ensure positive and lasting change for our future generations.

LeeAnn Aguilar-Lawlor, superintendent, Cartwright Elementary School District, Arizona

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