Motivation and Transfer: The Role of Achievement Goals in Preparation for Future Learning

Abstract

Knowledge transfer is critical for solving novel problems and performing new tasks. Recent work has shown that invention activities can promote flexible learning, leading to better transfer after instruction (Schwartz & Martin, 2004). The current project examines the role of achievement goals in promoting transfer. Results indicate that engaging in invention activities before being shown the correct method is beneficial for transfer, regardless of initial goal orientation (mastery versus performance), while a mastery orientation must be present for students to transfer from a direct instruction activity. Implications of these results for theories of learning and transfer are discussed.


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