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The Human Teaching Disposition Sidney Strauss Tel Aviv University James S. McDonnell Foundation Workshop on TEACHING D PowerPoint Presentation
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The Human Teaching Disposition Sidney Strauss Tel Aviv University James S. McDonnell Foundation Workshop on TEACHING D

The Human Teaching Disposition Sidney Strauss Tel Aviv University James S. McDonnell Foundation Workshop on TEACHING D

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The Human Teaching Disposition Sidney Strauss Tel Aviv University James S. McDonnell Foundation Workshop on TEACHING D

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  1. The Human Teaching Disposition Sidney Strauss Tel Aviv University James S. McDonnell Foundation Workshop on TEACHING December 3-5, 2004

  2. General Overview Philosophers and educators ask • what is good teaching? • how can we foster it in others? • I ask: Why do we teach in the first place? • The search for answers transports us to the borders of our cognitive, cultural and biological endowments • Broad canvas, general lay of the research and theoretical landscape

  3. General Overview • Innovation • Applying some ideas from cognitive sciences and cognitive development to teaching • Possible results • Some conceptual headway • Perhaps different view of teaching • Opening up new theory and research areas in teaching

  4. Seven Points 1. teaching and the cognitive sciences, writ large, haven’t yet met 2. teaching may be a natural cognitive predisposition 3. cognitive prerequisites of teaching *declarative and procedural knowledge 4. my claims about ontogenesis *cognitive prerequisites develop, leading to emergence of teaching *after its emergence, teaching develops 5. new places to go empirically 6. teacher education 7. weaknesses of the approach

  5. 1. Teaching and the Cognitive Sciences Haven’t Yet Met • Considerable theory-building and research in the cognitive sciences and cognitive development on learning • Little theory-building and research on what sometimes causes learning: teaching • But first: What is a natural cognitive predisposition?

  6. What is a Natural Cognitive Predisposition? • Cognition that is: • Universal • Very complex • Learned without instruction • Young children master it effortlessly Sometimes so easy and natural that we don’t even think about it Language is a classic example Teaching might be, too.

  7. What is a Natural Cognitive Predisposition? • Is teaching a uniquely natural cognitive predisposition for humans (species unique)? • Video of an adult chimp fishing for termites in the presence of a 3-year-old juvenile . • See if there is teaching here.

  8. What is a Natural Cognitive Predisposition? Was there teaching here? • Did the adult chimpanzee intend to teach? • Did the chimpanzee have an understanding of the juvenile’s mind and learning? • Difficult to say • Motivation to define teaching without either

  9. What Is Teaching, Anyway? Biological definition • “An individual actor A can be said to teachif it modifies its behaviors only in the presence of a naïve observer, B, at some cost or at least without obtaining an immediate benefit for itself. A’s behavior thereby encourages or punishesB’s behavior, or provides B with experience or sets an example for B. As a result, B acquires knowledge or learns a skill earlier in life or more rapidly or efficiently than it might otherwise do, or that it would not learn at all.” Caro, T. M. & Hauser, M. D. (1992) Is there teaching in nonhuman animals? The Quarterly Review of Biology, 67,151-171.

  10. Is Teaching Unique to Humans? • We saw that chimpanzees learn to fashion tools for termite fishing • Whiten, A. et al. (1999). Cultures in chimpanzees. Nature, 399, 682-685. The question before us is: Do chimpanzees, cats, birds teach?

  11. Is Teaching Unique to Humans? • BOTTOM LINE • Little or no primate teaching in the wild • Little teaching in captivity (3 reported cases) • if they teach in captivity, this means they have the capacity for teaching - Teachingmay beunique to humans (with ToM)

  12. What is Teaching, Anyway? Psychological definition “When faced with the question of determining whether an action is a teaching action, as opposed to some other action such as reciting, talking or acting in a play, it is the intention of bringing about learning that is the basis for distinguishing teaching from other activities. The intention the activity serves, then, is a part of the meaning of the concept...” (italics added) Pearson, A. T. (1989). The teacher: Theory and practice in teacher education. New York: Routledge

  13. What is Teaching, Anyway? The psychological view involves: • Intentionality • Intention to cause learning in other’s mind • Knowledge (gap) • Close the gap in knowledge, understanding, etc. Ziv, M., & Frye, D. (in press) Cognitive Development Mind The Gap!

  14. Teaching and the Big Divide • Do very young children teach?

  15. Teaching Develops In Early Childhood Strauss, S., Ziv, M., & Stein, A. (2002). Teaching as a natural cognition and its relations to preschoolers’ developing theory of mind. Cognitive Development, 17, 1473-1487. Maynard, A. E. (2002). Cultural teaching: The development of teaching skills in Maya sibling interactions. Child Development, 73, 969-982. Ashley, J., & Tomasello, M. (1998). Cooperative problem-solving and teaching in preschoolers. Social Development, 7, 143-163. Wood, D., Wood, H., Ainsworth, S., & O'Malley, C. (1995). On becoming a tutor: Toward an ontogenetic model. Cognition and Instruction, 13, 565-581. Ellis, S., & Rogoff, B. (1982). The strategies and efficacy of child versus adult teachers. Child Development, 53, 730-735. 3½-year-old children show initial indications that they can teach 5½-year-olds can be excellent teachers

  16. Teaching Develops In Early Childhood • Strauss, S., Ziv, M., & Stein, A. (2002). Teaching as a natural cognition and its relations to preschoolers’ developing theory of mind. Cognitive Development, 17, 1473-1487. • Study todetermine cognitive prerequisites of teaching • 50 pairs of children: 25 age 3½ 25 age 5½

  17. Teaching Develops In Early Childhood • Children given 3 kinds of tasks • who do you teach task • All solved it correctly • classic false belief tasks • 3 ½ & 5 ½ -year-olds solve incorrectly and correctly • teaching false belief tasks • Same results as classic false belief tasks • Taught to play a competitive game (one winner) • Call a friend over to play the game

  18. Teaching Emerges and Develops In Early Childhood Findings for 3½ -year-olds • Teach (play?) game without verbally stating rules • Perhaps demonstrate the rules by playing • Intervene when learner errs • Teacher compares her representation of the game with the learner’s behaviors • Mismatch leads to actions (teaching) • Do not intervene when learner is correct

  19. Teaching Emerges and Develops In Early Childhood Findings for 3½ -year-olds Are they teaching? • “Demonstrate” • Maybe they are playing the game and not teaching • Maybe their “corrections” are merely making the right move for the other • Intervene to change behaviors and resulting moves, not changing mental states • so that it will conform to the rules • no intention to correct • Do not solve classic and teaching FB tasks

  20. Teaching Emerges and Develops In Early Childhood • 2 reasons why 3½-year-olds may be teaching • Teachers always make the first move • Cheat when playing but not when teaching • Recognize different goals • Teaching: pass on knowledge • Playing competitive game: win

  21. Teaching Emerges and Develops In Early Childhood Findings for 5½ -year-olds • Explain and demonstrate the rules • Interventions seem to be aimed at mental states • Sometimes ask questions using mental state terms • Do you understand? What do you think you should do now?

  22. Teaching Emerges and Develops In Early Childhood BOTTOM LINE: Children in early childhood can teach

  23. Development of Teaching Once It Emerges Ashley & Tomasello; Astington & Pelletier; Maynard; Strauss, Ziv, & Stein; Wood et al. • Sequence • 2-year-olds: probably don’t teach (but Strauss & Ornan) • 3½-year-olds: teaching emerges - demonstrations • 5½-year-olds: explanations, references to mental states • 7½-year-olds: more contingent and responsive (related to learner’s knowledge state) • Adolescents? Perhaps Socratic teaching, metacognitive • Adults? • There may be levels • These levels may be developmental • Needs elaboration: age difference not necessarily developmental differences

  24. The Great Divide Chimpanzees do not teach (Elisabetta will help us with this) and 3½-year-olds probably do and 5 ½ year-olds definitely do Teaching may be a place where the great divide exists between humans and other primates Species-typical and probably species unique

  25. 2. Teaching May Be A Natural Cognitive Predisposition Includes domains such as: anthropology- cultural evolution biological evolution (phylogeny) primatology child development (ontogeny): infancy - adulthood non-normative cognitive development and functioning

  26. Teaching as a Natural Cognitive Predisposition Combined claims about teaching: species typical: universal may be species unique with ToM remarkably complex cognitively poverty of the stimulus: invisibility and sampling teaching appears among toddlers does not require instruction to be learned maybe learned effortlessly

  27. Species Typical: Universality of Teaching Among Humans • Species typicalor universal? • Do all societies have teaching? • David Lancy • Alan Fiske • If not, why do some societies not have teaching? • Could teaching be a cultural adaptation? • Does this ruin the cognitive predisposition claim?

  28. Universality of Teaching Among Humans • Reasons why universality is important • Species typical. No exceptions • Part of every culture • Everyone is exposed to teaching

  29. Universality of Teaching Among Humans • Vast cultural differences • However, teaching may be quite uniform across cultures • Teaching differs in • Amount (Tuareg in North Africa; St. Louis) • Content (poisoning spear tip among San !Kung in South Africa; feeding pigs in Sichuan district in China; feeding pigeons in Trafalgar Square)

  30. Universality of Teaching Among Humans: Mother Teaching Daughter to Sew, Chongzhou China 2004

  31. Sometimes through explanation as in university teaching in Czechoslovakia (photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, Life)

  32. and in Bechuanaland (photo by Nat Farbman, Life)

  33. Universality of Teaching in Human Cultures • Sometimes through demonstration as seen among hunter-gatherers in Bechuanaland (photo by Nat Farbman, Life)

  34. Universality of Teaching in Human Cultures • And sometimes we teach by correcting towards an ideal (photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt, Truempy Ballet School, Berlin, 1930)

  35. Cultural Diversity and Universality Bottom lines • Enormous cultural variation • Teaching and the cognitive abilities necessary for teaching may be universal • The content and amount of teaching is different between cultures • The cognitive abilities that allow teaching are identical • The ways of teaching are very similar • Explanation, demonstration, correcting, etc.

  36. Teaching’s Remarkable Cognitive Complexity Teaching is extremely complex Teachers make inferences and attributions about others’: minds (beliefs, partial knowledge, etc.) emotions (anxious, comfortable) motivation (high, low)

  37. Teaching’s Remarkable Cognitive Complexity Based on these attributions and inferences, teachers teach Purpose of teaching to cause learning in others psychological causality Teaching involves inferences about others’ minds (knowledge gaps, emotional state, motivational state) how learning occurs in others’ minds

  38. Teaching’s Remarkable Cognitive Complexity • How we teach indicates what our understandings of the mind are and how learning occurs • Unreflective • Donor for a Center for Research on Learning at Tel Aviv University • BOTTOM LINE: Teaching is remarkably complex! (More about this later)

  39. Teaching not Taught Very young children are exposed to teaching BUT Probably not taught how to teach Learning how to teach seems to be effortless

  40. 3. Cognitive Prerequisites of Teaching • Unlike language, we are at the beginning of understanding • Declarative Knowledge • Epistemological assumptions • Procedural Knowledge • Processes • Discourse model

  41. 4. My Developmental Claims • Declarative and procedural cognitive prerequisites for teaching develop during infancy • Teaching emerges when prerequisites reach a certain (undetermined) level at around age 3 ½ • Teaching from that age develops until adolescence (? … and beyond?)

  42. The Emergence of Teaching • Teaching emerges when cognitive prerequisites of teaching (declarative and procedural knowledge) reach certain (not yet determined) developmental levels • Around age 3 ½

  43. Tentative Conclusions • If teaching is • Universal (species typical with ToM) • Remarkably complex • Mostly invisible and hardly sampled • Not taught, yet learned effortlessly • Occurs in early childhood BOTTOM LINE: Teaching may be a natural cognitive predisposition