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Sidney Strauss: Teaching as a natural cognition

This paper sketches a brief position about how teaching has the possibility of shedding light on the cognitive sciences and vice versa by outlining the understanding of teaching as a natural cognition. The converging evidence for this claim is as follows: Teaching with a theory of mind may be species-specific; it may be universal among humans. Teaching is remarkably complex cognitively; yet, it is mostly invisible. Apparently teaching does not require instruction to be learned, and when it is learned, it seems to be done effortlessly. And teaching appears at a very early age. It seems that some areas concerned here have not been studied at all, while others have had little research conducted in them, and without the understanding of teaching as a natural cognition. The paper surveys the cognitive prerequisites of teaching as well as the cognitive conditions for learning to teach. The positions outlined have the possibility of opening up research on teaching so that it could include the nexus where the biological and cultural endowments human beings are examined.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 102. Number 4. 417-431. (2002)

Address for correspondence: Sidney Strauss, School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.

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Magyar Tudományos Akadémia