One theory of giftedness says that gifted individuals are able to transfer knowledge from one situation to other, seemingly unrelated situations.
Other theories indicate that giftedness in one area may not necessarily indicate giftedness in all areas (something many teachers have a hard time understanding).
The two theories are not necessarily mutually exclusive, as an individual may be able to see how a skill could be applied in different areas, but may not be able to make the skill translate as smoothly in one area as another. Think about the similarities between mathematical properties such as multiplying two negative numbers to equal a positive number and its similarity to using double negatives in English. While a student may see that the ideas are similar, his ability to stop himself from saying, “I didn’t do nothing,” is more related to his comfortability with his own dialect and personal habits than his understanding of the concept. (My response to that statement is usually, “that’s right you didn’t do nothing – you did something – even if it was breathing – you did something.” They do eventually get it.)
One of the skills that students are learning these days is to be able to distinguish between what is interesting and what is important in text. It’s a great skill to have. It makes it possible to determine the important parts of a textbook to study, or to understand when an author is illustrating a point with interesting facts instead of just giving more facts. There are so many things that the skill allows us to do while reading – and good readers can usually do that without noticing they are doing it. So for good readers, it can be difficult to slow themselves down in order to (metacognitively) understand what they just did.
I think that is what can make transference difficult. If you don’t notice that you are using a skill, how can you see the steps involved in a detailed enough way to notice that they could be applied elsewhere?
For instance, noticing importance and interest might be a useful life skill – not just a reading skill. Oh, say in the area of time management perhaps? For those of us, like me, who are decidedly challenged in the area of time management – the skill seems to be lost in translation.
My husband commented recently (and in an unexpectedly loving way I might add), that I seemed to be more concerned with whatever I was doing than what was important. How could that be? What I was doing was important – to me anyway.
But the more I thought about what he said, the more sense it made.
I started looking at my house – at how disorganized it seems to be lately. I started thinking – what have I been doing differently? I don’t mind a somewhat cluttered lived-in house, but this is more than that. It’s not that things are normally messy (three teenagers make lots of laundry), but that things are bottlenecking in new and unusual ways. Laundry got done, but it was weird laundry (cloth napkins took precidense over socks and undies). Dinner was cooked, but we were using the dishes usually reserved for big crowds because the dishwasher never got unloaded and since the regular dishes weren’t in the cabinet people couldn’t figure out where to look for them.
I could easily place blame on laziness or teenage weirdness, but these were things that I normally took care of. What was I doing?
Oh, yeah. This. This is what I was doing. I can write just about anywhere and at anytime – I’m always thinking so writing just happens. But I have been using that early morning power hour, that normally sees me herding kids through chores and changing out the laundry to make sure the important loads are done first, to write.
I love writing in the morning, but I’m kind of concerned about the lack of clean undies around here. And the lack of forks in my silverware drawer – where did those go anyway?
So, if you haven’t noticed the last couple of days, I’ll make it clear – I’m changing my writing time because I’ve noticed that this novel that is my life seems to have jumped into the twilight zone lately and I need to make some adjustments to bring it back into reality. There should be more important facts and fewer daydreams going on – at least first thing in the morning.
I wonder what my husband will say if I start writing before bedtime? Hmm . . . I think I should probably find a nice time between lunch and supper to write instead.
I’ll still be on my bench, but until I figure out my optimal time, it may be a bit unpredictable around here.
So – I’ll see ya when I see ya. 😊