Navigation Links
MU study finds connection between evolution, classroom learning
Date:6/9/2009

COLUMBIA, Mo. Over thousands of years, humans have evolved to naturally understand things like facial expressions and social interactions. But a University of Missouri researcher has found there is an ever-widening gap between what humans can naturally learn and what they need to learn to be successful adults in today's modern society. Schools have traditionally helped bridge the gap between evolution and new knowledge, but in the U.S. more may need to be done.

"Schools need to push children to learn things that they do not do naturally, which is more important as our knowledge of the world continues to expand," said David Geary, Curators' Professor of Psychological Sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science. "Learning is not always going to be fun and children should not expect it to be. Attempting to engage children by making activities fun, causes those activities to become more similar to what students are already doing naturally and can limit new learning."

Geary found that one reason U.S. students may be behind students in other countries in subjects like science and math is because American schools have moved away from traditional practices where students learn information through repetition. Instead, U.S. schools often use more group and social interactions to teach topics that can be challenging.

"From an evolutionary perspective, what we are designed to do and what culture says we now have to do, is very different," Geary said. "We should not expect what comes naturally to us to be the best way to learn something new."

Geary found that humans have evolved to naturally learn basic skills, like social interactions, but because of the fast expansion of new academic knowledge, humans are not yet equipped to easily understand things like chemistry, mathematics or physics. Humans prefer to engage in peer relationships because of natural bias that helps them learn about and influence their peer groups. While the need to learn about others now comes naturally, mastering things like linear algebra, does not, because it is a recent cultural innovation.

"Learning mechanisms in humans have evolved to support the transfer of culturally useful knowledge," Geary said. "However, we are now at a point in human history where the abilities needed to function in a high-tech, modern society have surpassed the capacity of those simple learning mechanisms."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeffrey Beeson
BeesonJ@missouri.edu
573-882-9144
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
2. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
3. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
4. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
5. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
6. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
7. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
8. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
9. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
10. Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
11. Study finds environmental tests help predict hospital-acquired Legionnaires disease risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/30/2016)... CHICAGO , Nov. 30, 2016  higi ... a new partnership initiative targeting national brands, industry ... and reward their respective audiences for taking steps ... Since its inception in 2012, higi has built ... US, impacting over 38 million people who have ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... France , November 29, 2016 Nearly one ... Continue Reading ... ... is part of an efficient Identity Management. (PRNewsFoto/DERMALOG Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... , November 22, 2016 According to the ... IRIS, Palm Print, Face, Vein, Signature, Voice), Multi-Factor), Component (Hardware and Software), ... published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to grow from USD 10.74 ... CAGR of 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016  Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: SNGX) (Soligenix or ... developing and commercializing products to treat rare diseases ... today the long-term follow-up data from its Phase ... Innate Defense Regulator (IDR), in the treatment of ... patients undergoing chemoradiation therapy (CRT).  The additional 12-month ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Savannah River Remediation LLC ... selected NewTechBio,s NT-MAX Lake & Pond Sludge ... bacteria, in conjunction with Hexa Armor/ Rhombo cover ... National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System requirements. ... steady history of elevated pH levels, above 8.5, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016   Biocept, ... leading commercial provider of clinically actionable liquid biopsy ... announces that clinical data featuring its Target Selector™ ... tissue biopsy for the detection of actionable biomarkers ... from research sponsored by Sara Cannon Research Institute ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Huffman Engineering, Inc. ... a Wonderware Certified System Integrator Partner. Huffman Engineering is the only Nebraska-based ... “The System Integrator Partner certification gives customers confidence that our engineers are fully ...
Breaking Biology Technology: