Student Nature, Introduction: Students as Genetic Organisms

My last series, Learning Evolved, was inspired by the fourth post in Classroom Democracy, “The Evolution of Learning.” I took a two-page reaction paper and turned it into a sixteen page report because I was interested in the nexus between our evolutionary history and educational present. And now this series follows the pattern, turning the rumination of the first part of Learning Evolved, “Darwinism-Cognitivism,” into a survey of the effects of genetics on teaching. Yet it also is inspired by the fourth part of that series, the humble bibliography. I had taken notes on and read many articles that I was not able to fit into the pages of Learning Evolved. Therefore, I went out of my way to write a series with as many previously neglected citations as possible.

Besides this prologue, Student Nature has four parts. The synopses below introduce the readings, but the individual posts should speak for themselves.

  • Part I, The Nature of the Student
    As all people share a common Universal Human Nature, all learners share a common Universal Student Nature. The all-student cognitive apparatus includes such things as the information-processing system (the OODA Loop), social cooperation, and automaticity.
  • Part II, The Natures of Our Students
    No two students are alike, and the particular student natures vary with age, sex, group, and of course individual. Some ideas are genetically harder for some students to grasp than others, while some types of intelligences and classroom behavior are irregularly distributed around the globe. A one-size-fits-all philosophy cannot possibly work.
  • Part III, Nature and Her Consequences
    Old ideas fall away when exposed to genetic scrutiny, and others stand only perilously. Yet if we aren’t critical of our beloved ideas, reality will be. If they are not reinforced and adapted now they will be crushed later.
  • Part IV, Bibliography
    From Academy of Management Review to WITI Women, Alas Poor Darwin to Human Nature Review, the academic and popular literature is scoured to provide the best possible tdaxp series.

As I said once before: To all those who are interested in the intersection between evolution and education: enjoy!

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