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Research Commentary: Transfer, Abstraction, and Context

Matthew Jones 

March 2009, Volume 40, Issue 2, Page 80

The author responds to the recent work of Kaminski, Sloutsky, and Heckler (2008) and advances two major concerns about their research and its applicability to learning mathematics: a confounding variable that arises from the mathematical differences between the generic examples and concrete examples poses a threat to the construct validity of the experiments, and the overgeneralization of the success of the treatment, given that the measure of success is a prompted near-transfer task.