Learning that Transfers: Exploring a New Approach for a Learning Planet

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Learning that Transfers is a ground-breaking approach to multi-solving in a rapidly changing world, created by educators Stern, Ferraro, Duncan, Aleo (Corwin Press, 2021). Participants will explore the approach by examining the work of Nobel Laureate Lin Ostrom (economics, 2009). Lin uncovered a set of core design principles whose presence or absence predicted success for diverse groups all around the world in sustainably managing common-pool resources (e.g. water, irrigation systems, forests, soils, fisheries, pastures). Lin later collaborated with David Sloan Wilson, an evolutionary anthropologist, to transfer these principles to nearly all human endeavors. From this vantage point, many of the problems that require collective action to remedy – dirty air and water, poverty, hunger, an unsafe climate, and unjust communities – are rather symptoms of a profound mismatch between our cultural narratives, norms and institutions and Lin’s core design principles. By the same token, a transferable understanding and practice of these design principles are necessary for any meaningful solution at scale. Learning that transfers — applying learning from one situation to another — is a specific outcome supported by disciplines that are by and large absent from modern education. Participants will explore learning that transfers as well as the process and disciplines behind it.

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