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Preparation for Future Learning

Preparation for future learning (PFL) focuses on the ability of students to adapt prior knowledge to support future learning. This differs from traditional conceptions of transfer that focus on the ability to correctly apply prior knowledge to new contexts without a significant learning or adapting component. The ability to adapt knowledge to new situations is a crucial goal of instruction because rarely do students encounter the same exact problem that they were taught. Instead, they have to be prepared to go beyond factual recall in order to make their knowledge usable outside of school. The PFL perspective is central to this goal and has implications for both instruction and assessment.

One of the biggest challenges for educators is the inert knowledge problem, where students learn

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