Hacking Our Brains for Learning

Humana Mente 11 (33) (2018)
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Observational learning is ubiquitous. We very often observe and pick up information about how others behave and subsequently replicate similar behaviours in one way or another. Focusing on observational learning, I investigate human imitation, the mechanisms that underpin it as well as the processes that complement it, in order to assess its contribution to learning and education. Furthermore, I construe emotion as a scaffold for observational learning and bring together evidence about its influence on selective attention. Finally, I flesh out possible ways in which the insights about the role of imitation in learning could help design a more effective and equally rewarding learning environment. Specifically, I suggest that perhaps the simplest and most effective way to foster learning via promoting imitation is through letting learners of various ages co-exist. The benefits of learning in a mixed-age group are assessed.



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Alex Tillas
Bristol University

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Imitation Makes Us Human.Susan Blackmore - 2007 - In C. A. Pasternak (ed.), What Makes Us Human? pp. 1-16.

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