The braid of human learning and development: Neuro-physiological processes and participation in cultural practices

Carol D. Lee, Andrew N. Meltzoff, Patricia K. Kuhl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This chapter offers a framework for understanding human learning and psychological development as situated within a systemthat entails dynamic interplay between neurobiological processes and people’s participation in cultural practices. The chapter draws from multiple disciplines, including evolutionary biology, neuroscience, human development, anthropology, cognitive science, cultural and social psychology, and the learning sciences. Human development is a complex interchange that includes neurobiological processes, evolved over many millennia, that now get taken up and adapted as people engage in cultural practices, which themselves vary over communities and historical time. The chapter highlights intersections between neurobiological processes and people’s participation in cultural practices as these intersections shape human sense-making, influencing people’s goals, effort, and persistence—what people do and why. The chapter offers the following core propositions undergirding human learning and development: Proposition 1: Biology does not determine the endpoint of human ontogeny. Proposition 2: The primacy of learning from, with, and through others. Proposition 3: Diversity in developmental pathways is core to realistic accounts of human development. Proposition 4: Individualsbelong to multiple, not single, cultural groups—“intersectionality.” Proposition 5: The social brain “expects” and is modified by social interactions. Proposition 6: The power and pervasiveness of implicit and observational learning. The chapter reviews empirical studies documenting how we can see in infancy developmental trajectories that are outgrowths of dispositions inherited from our evolutionary history that unfold in particular competencies because of our participation in cultural practices. The chapter then goes on to discuss the implications of these foundational principles for the design of learning environments in older children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Cultural Foundations of Learning
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages24-43
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781135039318
ISBN (Print)9780203774977
StatePublished - May 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The braid of human learning and development: Neuro-physiological processes and participation in cultural practices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this