Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture

Symposium (1 of 5) | Barry Hewlett | Intimate Living, Teaching, and Learning among the Aka and Other Hunter-Gatherers

Episode Summary

Symposium (1 of 5) | Barry Hewlett | Intimate Living, Teaching, and Learning among the Aka and Other Hunter-Gatherers

Episode Notes

This talk examines evolutionary, developmental psychology and social-cultural anthropology debates regarding how children learn from others. Cognitive psychologists and evolutionary biologists indicate that teaching, accurate imitation, and language are distinct features of human cognition that enable high fidelity transmission of cultural variants and cumulative culture. The talk examines whether or not one type of teaching, called natural pedagogy, and one type of accurate imitation, called overimiation, exist among Aka hunter-gatherers of the Congo Basin. These and other studies of teaching and learning in hunter-gatherers are presented and situated in the culturally constructed niches of intimate living and foundation schemas of equality, autonomy, and sharing.