n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - A conceptual analysis of transfer of learning in Health Sciences Education

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


All educators in vocational training aim to promote transfer of learning in their students. However, studies on transfer of learning or theory-practice gap in the health professions are criticized for being anecdotal and not viewed as a systemic process. The analysis was done according to Walker and Avant's (2005) eight steps. Databases, internet search engines, and scholarly articles from the 21st century were used to identify relevant sources. Transfer of learning occurs when inherent characteristics of students prompt them to demonstrate the competence (knowledge, skills, attitude, and behavior) they gained through well designed student-centered educational interventions in real (clinical) contexts with positive outcomes for the students, clients, and the service institution. Working towards transfer of learning, or bridging the theory-practice gap, without a common understanding of what it entails jeopardises future research, educational practice, and service delivery. The findings of this study imply that selection criteria should be applied in the selection of appropriate candidates for rendering health care. Education in health sciences should be designed to promote transfer of learning and service settings should be conducive for transfer of learning by lending personal, professional and systems support. Achieving these will ensure good practice development as well as promote and uphold efficient quality of care.

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