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Transfer of learning for state court judges: maximising the context

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Review of the literature on transfer of learning or training since 1990 reveals a vast number of articles. However, when it comes to the ways professionals transfer learning to their practice, the research is limited. This led us to study a professional group, state court judges, to see how they integrate learning into their practice. Our study found that the American Bar Association's Model Code of Judicial Conduct, a code that sets the standards for the regulation of the behavior and actions of judges, affects the way judges make meaning from continuing professional educational programs. The judges in this study did not have peers readily available in their workplace to discuss ideas and information gained from the conference they attended that would help them in the transfer of learning to the bench. The Code also restricted them from discussing information with anyone other than another judge. In this study, we found judges discussed the new information, skills and knowledge they learned at the conference with peers at the conference to make meaning and transfer the information to their practice. This practice is unlike the practice of other professional groups we have studied, where individuals return to the workplace and discuss concepts with their peers. We found that time needs to be allocated during the formal presentation for discussion among the judges with their peers to make meaning. When put into this context, judges transfer their learning into their practice. Specific program planning factors were found to aid the transfer of learning.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Woodring College of Education, Western Washington University, USA 2: Utah Judicial Institute, USA 3: Doran Investments Inc, USA

Publication date: 2007-11-01

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