Teaching as Natural Selection

Teaching is commonly associated with instruction, yet in evolution, immunology, and neuroscience, instructional theories are largely defunct.

We propose a co-immunity theory of teaching, where attempts by a teacher to alter student neuronal structure to accommodate cultural ideas and practices is sort of a reverse to the function of the immune system, which exists to preserve the physical self, while teaching episodes are designed to alter the mental self.

This is a theory of teaching that is based on the inter-subjective relationship between teacher and learner. This theory posits that teaching does not, as is commonly assumed, take place via instruction from teacher to students, but rather through a process of selection in the learner’s brain, stimulated by materials and activities utilized by the teacher. In this theory, the mechanism that drives the selection process in learners’ brains is co-regulated emotional signaling between teacher and learner. From this perspective, the power of formative assessment is that it intrinsically carries with it emotional aspects for both learner and teacher, in that it provides a feedback relationship between them both, and so, according to the Greenspan & Shanker theory of cognitive symbolic development, promotes cognitive development.


Folksonomies: education natural selection teaching

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immune system:FieldTerminology (0.975989 (neutral:0.000000)), Greenspan:Person (0.685556 (positive:0.402801))

Immune system (0.978792): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Psychology (0.934209): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Education (0.844690): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Brain (0.795035): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Immunology (0.769041): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Immunity (0.755238): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Humoral immunity (0.730097): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Teacher (0.688146): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Is teaching about instruction or selection?
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Davis, Gary (02/17/2015), Is teaching about instruction or selection?, Journal of Brief Ideas, Retrieved on 2015-02-17
  • Source Material [beta.briefideas.org]
  • Folksonomies: education natural selection teaching


    17 FEB 2015

     Teachers Select for Student Learning

    Instruction vs. Selection > Conclusion > Teaching as Natural Selection


    17 FEB 2015

     Evolving Learners: Education as Artificial Selection

    If brains learn by pruning neurons that serve no purpose, the educators are pruners/encouragers of neurons. We should look at them as artificially selecting neurons in students.