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SBE 2020: Submission Detail

ID Number: 152
Title: Towards a Scientific Understanding of Teaching
Lead Author: Strauss, Sidney
Abstract: Teaching, a most remarkable human achievement, has been quite neglected by the cognitive sciences, even though it has significant potential to produce insights into human cognition and culture. Two questions are asked: Why do we teach in the first place, and what are its origins? Among the domains that can yield answers to these questions are the ontogenesis of human teaching, anthropology, phylogeny, nonhuman animal teaching, the brain sciences, artificial intelligence, archeology, linguistics, and philosophy. For humans, teaching with a theory of mind may be a natural cognitive ability. Its ontogenesis involves two developmental trajectories: (1) cognitive prerequisites that allow teaching to emerge and (2) actual teaching. Human teaching may be both species-typical (i.e., universal) and species-unique with a theory of mind. Recent research indicates that four taxa of nonhuman animals teach, when an evolutionary theory and animal behavior functional definition is used. In the social neurosciences researchers study how brains pass on information to each other in social situations. Teaching situations can determine the nature of synchrony between the teachers and the learners brains. Questions that are asked for each domain can yield basic science progress. Suggestions are made concerning how to foster the scientific study of teaching.
PDF: Strauss_Sidney_152.pdf

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