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  • 1. ECC 2012-13How to favor a good encounterPOTENTIAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE MIND-BRAIN-BEHAVIORALSCIENCES TO EDUCATION Growing body of knowledge Methods and models A viewSLIPPERY SLOPESSTRATEGIES
  • 2. ECC 2012-13Vows for a good marriageAssess the commoninterests (reasons)Assess the dowry(contributions)Assess the slippery slopes(risks, misuses, potentialand actualmisunderstandings)
  • 3. ECC 2012-13 A premise: ReasonsLearning-  A teaching species with social learning mechanisms for cultural transmission and for filling-in the cospecifics’s knowledge gap-  Motivation-  Cognitive abilities
  • 4. ECC 2012-13 ReasonsLearning-  A natural adaptive function in the animal reign-  In higher animals, a function of the brain-  The brain modifies itself as a consequence of new experiences that produce long-lasting behavioral changes
  • 5. ECC 2012-13 ReasonsLearning-  The brain is not rubber-like-  The ways it endures modifications is prescribed by its properties and constrained by its own history-  Learning is not the only process for altering the brain’s functional architecture (knowledge acquisition)
  • 6. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Singer 2008 p. 101) ¤  Learning as one of the mechanisms that modify the functional architecture of the brain, with a certain timing ¤  Such changes can be obtained by altering the integrative properties of individual neurons, by changing the anatomical connectivity patterns, and by modifying the efficacy of excitatory and/or inhibitory connections. ¤  … this process of circuit formation and selection according to functional criteria persists until the end of puberty – but it occurs within precisely timed windows that differ for different structures. ¤  Once the respective developmental windows close, neurons stop forming new connections and existing connections cannot be removed. The only way to induce further modifications in the now cristallized architecture is to change the efficacy of the existing connections. These functional modifications are assumed to be the basis of adult learning and after puberty are constrained by the invariant anatomical architectures.
  • 7. ECC 2012-13 Contributions: Knowledge 1 ConstraintsLearning processes Timing Associated functions
  • 8. ECC 2012-13 Contributions: Knowledge 2•  Human Learning mechanisms: •  associative learning, •  statistical learning, …•  Social learning mechanisms •  Pacton & Perruchet 2006 •  Kuhl 2004•  Imitation •  Tomasello 1999, Whiten 2000:•  Cultural transmission •  Sperber 1996
  • 9. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Goswami 2008 p. 3-4) ¤  At least three types of learning also appear to be functioning from very early in development. One is associative learning. Babies appear to be able to make connections between events that are reliably associated, even while in the womb. Once outside the womb, they appear to be able to track statistical dependencies in the world, such as conditional probabilities between visual events or between sounds. This turns out to be a very powerful learning mechanism. ¤  The second type of learning that appears to be available early is learning by imitation. This may be particularly important for the development of social cognition. ¤  Finally, infants appear to be able to connect causes and effects by using “explanation based” learning. … The causal inferences made by infants provide an extremely powerful mechanism for learning about the world. Infants are not simply  detecting causal regularities but appear to be constructing causal explanations for new phenomena on the basis of their prior knowledge. One mechanism they use is learning by analogy.
  • 10. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Pacton & Perruchet 2006) ¤  Pour certains, l’apprentissage scolaire viendrait expliciter des connaissances déjà acquises implicitement par l’enfant. ¤  Selon cette conception, l’apprentissage implicite conduirait à une connaissance abstraite, fondamentalement de même nature que la connaissance résultant d’une instruction dirigée. La seule différence serait le caractère inconscient ou conscient de la connaissance. ¤  Or, les études d’apprentissage implicite en laboratoire, comme celles sur l’apprentissage implicite de certains aspects de l’orthographe, vont à l’encontre d’une telle conception. Elles indiquent en effet que les processus d’apprentissage implicite ne conduisent pas à la connaissance implicite des règles que lécole pourvoit explicitement. Ils reposent sur des formes adaptatives alternatives.
  • 11. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Kuhl 2010) ¤  We were struck by the fact that infants exposed to Mandarin were socially very engaged in the language sessions and began to wonder about the role of social interaction in learning. Would infants learn if they were exposed to the same information in the absence of a human being, say, via television or an audiotape? If statistical learning is sufficient, the television and audio-only conditions should produce learning. Infants who were exposed to the same foreign-language material at the same time and at the same rate, but via standard television or audiotape only, showed no learning—their performance equaled that of infants in the control group who had not been exposed to Mandarin at all (Figure 5). ¤  Thus, the presence of a human being interacting with the infant during language exposure, while not required for simpler statistical- learning tasks (Maye et al., 2002; Saffran et al., 1996), is critical for learning in complex natural language-learning situations in which infants heard an average of 33,000 Mandarin syllables from a total of four different talkers over a 4–5-week period (Kuhl et al., 2003).
  • 12. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Gergely & Csibra 2008) ¤  We propose that human communication is specifically adapted to allow the transmission of generic knowledge between individuals. Such a communication system, which we call ‘natural pedagogy’, enables fast and efficient social learning of cognitively opaque cultural knowledge that would be hard to acquire relying on purely observational learning mechanisms alone. We argue that human infants are prepared to be at the receptive side of natural pedagogy (i) by being sensitive to ostensive signals that indicate that they are being addressed by communication, (ii) by developing referential expectations in ostensive contexts and (iii) by being biased to interpret ostensive-referential communication as conveying information that is kind-relevant and generalizable.
  • 13. ECC 2012-13Contributions: Knowledge 3•  Teaching as a natural cognitive ability •  Strauss 2005: Folk pedagogy •  Gergely & Csibra 2008: Natural Pedagogy
  • 14. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Tomasello 1999) ¤  Human beings are biologically adapted for culture in ways that other primates are not, as evidenced most clearly by the fact that only human cultural traditions accumulate modifications over historical time (the ratchet effect). ¤  The key adaptation is one that enables individuals to understand other individuals as intentional agents like the self. ¤  This species-unique form of social cognition emerges in human ontogeny at approximately 1 year of age, as infants begin to engage with other persons in various kinds of joint attentional activities involving gaze following, social referencing, and gestural communication. ¤  Young children’s joint attentional skills then engender some uniquely powerful forms of cultural learning, enabling the acquisition of language, discourse skills, tool-use practices, and other conventional activities. ¤  These novel forms of cultural learning allow human beings to, in effect, pool their cognitive resources both contemporaneously and over historical time in ways that are unique in the animal kingdom.
  • 15. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Whiten 2000) ¤  One of the important ways in which primates exploit these complex social worlds is to selectively tap the expertise already acquired by others, either directly, by scrounging resources from them, or more indirectly, by learning from them (Russon, 1997). The key adaptation is one that enables individuals to understand other individuals as intentional agents like the self. ¤  …The most thorough way in which an animal may learn from the actions of another is to imitate or copy it. Such a copying process operating across a whole community could lead to population-level similarities of behavior—a ‘culture’ or ‘tradition’ in biologists’ terminology. ¤  … First is a category (nonsocial processes) that includes all those cases that do not even require social interaction between A and B: for example, two apes who never meet but who are faced with similar fruits in their environments, may learn by their own individual efforts (individual learning) how to peel the fruit in the same, perhaps optimal, fashion. By contrast, in the category of social influence B does affect A in some way: however, unlike in the third category, social learning, B does not learn any part of the similarity in acts from A: in the case of exposure, for example, by simply tending to be with A, B gets exposed to a similar environment which it learns to respond to in a matching fashion.
  • 16. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Whiten 2000) ¤  If culture is defined in the most general way as behavioral conformity spread or maintained by nongenetic means, then these means must involve either social learning or social influence of the types indicated in Figure 1. Social influence and stimulus enhancement appear to be widespread among birds and mammals (see Heyes & Galef, 1996), and thus so do cultures, defined in this way. The opening of milk-bottle tops by blue-tits, the spread of which in the UK was carefully documented, was one of the first of many examples (Hinde & Fisher, 1951). Studies with captive birds showed that social enhancement, in which the results of the expert bird’s actions (opened containers) drew the attention of novices to the new food source, would be sufficient to cause the spread of such a behavior in the population (Sherry & Galef, 1984). Stimulus enhancement may be the main way in which young primates learn about what foods to eat and how to find them (Fragaszy & Visalberghi, 1996; Whiten, 1989; Visalberghi, 1994). …
  • 17. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Whiten 2000) … ¤  However, there is clearly more to human culture than this kind of process. Galef (1992) suggested that since human culture rests upon sophisticated social learning processes that include imitation and teaching, it is misleading to talk of animal ‘culture’ unless trans- mission occurs through mechanisms this complex. If the mechanisms operative in pri- mates are no more than, say, stimulus enhancement, it might be more proper to say that we have an analogy of human culture, rather than any homologous processes that would give a real insight into evolutionary origins. Galef suggested that if we have only an analog we might be best to refrain from talk of ‘culture’ and simply refer to ‘traditions’. Of course, which actual terms we use to highlight this distinction is arbitrary (one could make a similar argument about the ‘corruption’ of the anthropomorphic term, ‘tradition’!), but Galef is making a significant point about the distinction itself. Accordingly we are back to issues of cognition: the nature of the cognitive process of transmission matters in understanding what kinds of traditions, or cultures, really operate among nonhuman primates. ¤  Tomasello, Kruger, and Ratner (1993) also emphasized the special nature of what they called ‘cultural learning’ in humans, suggesting that even in young children, true imitation rests upon abilities to recognize the intentional structure of actions in others in a way that other apes do not naturally do. Again, then, what apes have to tell us about the origins of culture is argued to hinge crucially on the cognitive underpinnings of how social learning actually takes place.
  • 18. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Sperber 1996) ¤  (culture) the cumulative effect of countless processes of interindividual transmission through imitation¤  (Strauss 2005) ¤  The goal of teaching is to pass on one’s knowledge to someone who knows less in an attempts to close the gap in knowledge.
  • 19. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Strauss 2005) ¤  Teaching, or folk pedagogy, the social transformation of knowledge from one person to another or the attempt to engender it in others, is one of the most remarkable of human enterprises. I propose that teaching, which is central to education in the broad sense of that term, can also be seen as an essential domain of inquiry for the cognitive sciences. This is also because, as I attempt to show, teaching may be a natural cognitive ability and is essential to what it means to be a human being. Furthermore, I believe that a search for the cognitive underpinnings of teaching may lead to a description of some of the fundamental building blocks of human cognition and its development. … ¤  A broad view of teaching includes at least four levels of explanation for the cognitive machinery in the mind associated with teaching: an evolutionary adaptive problem that machinery solved, the cognitive programs that solve that problem, the neurophysiological infrastructure that serves as a base for the cognitive program, and the cultural underpinnings that are deigned by and support the above.
  • 20. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Strauss 2005)¤  In broad terms, a natural cognitive ability is species-specific, universal and young children effortlessly learn the domain in question without instruction. …¤  First … teaching with ToM may be species-typical. The cognition underlying teaching among some species of animals and human beings has not been thoroughly examined. There is little controversy that chimpanzees, our closest relatives, and other primates do not teach with a theory of mind…¤  A second motivation for teaching as a natural cognitive ability is that although other primates do not seem to teach with a ToM, it is incontrovertible that teaching with a ToM is universal among human beings. This means that, with few exceptions, every person in every society has taught (toddlers and some autistic individuals may be exceptions here) and has been taught by others… These are universal activities that take place in everyday life in the home, the streets, the workplace, and the fields. There is considerable cross-cultural variation concerning the amount of teaching that takes place … and the content of what is taught … The importance of the claim of universality is twofold. It means that everyone is exposed to teaching, which is to say that everyone has the possibility to learn to teach by virtue of that exposure, and that very universality suggests that is may be a characteristic of human’s biological and cultural endowments.¤  Third, teaching is an extraordinarily complex enterprise that has much to do with mind, emotions, and motivation-reading. …
  • 21. ECC 2012 2012-13¤  (Strauss 2005)¤  Fourth is the poverty of the stimulus argument. One of the many remarkable aspects of teaching is that so much of it is invisible to the eye. The visible part is the external acts of teaching… the visible part of teaching is quite impoverished in comparison to the depth of what underlies it, the part that is not revealed to the eye, and what is invisible is the inferences teachers make and the mental processes that lead to these inferences…¤  Fifth, teaching is a specialized social interaction, unlike others. Yet it shares some aspects of other kinds of social interaction…. What stands at the heart of these social interactions is the intentionality of the individuals involved in the social interactions…¤  Sixth, although teaching is universal among human beings, it seems to be learned without formal education, or even education of the informal kind. A sliver of the 6 billion inhabitants of planet earth has been taught how to teach; yet all know how to teach. All have been exposed to pedagogy; they have been taught but, with few exceptions, they have had no instruction about how to teach. … The fact that people have not been taught how to teach does not mean it is not learned.¤  Seven, very young children teach. There are two kinds of evidence that bear on this matter: Toddlers may request teaching and youngsters teach.
  • 22. ECC 2012-13 Contributions: models & methods Cognitive neuroscienceAICognitive Developmentalpsychology & Evolutionary psychology
  • 23. ECC 2012-13 Contributions: A (scientific) view Scientific view of teachingIntutitions about teaching Scientific view of the mindToM
  • 24. ECC 2012-13How to favor a good encounterPOTENTIAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE MIND-BRAIN-BEHAVIORALSCIENCES TO EDUCATION Growing body of knowledge Methods and models A viewSLIPPERY SLOPESSTRATEGIES
  • 25. ECC 2012-13Risks: contents1. Getting the science 2. And the seductivewrong, or: the trap of allure ofneuromyths neuroscience
  • 26. ECC 2012-13Risks: use 4. And the Illusion of3. Normative Fallacy direct transfer
  • 27. ECC 2012-13Risks: evidence 6. And empirical5. cargo-cult evidence pointillisme
  • 28. ECC 2012-13 Risks: meaningfulness 8. And lack of7. Triviality interest
  • 29. ECC 2012-13 Risks: isolation 10. And one-way9. Disciplinary roadrestriction
  • 30. ECC 2012-13How to favor a good encounterPOTENTIAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE MIND-BRAIN-BEHAVIORALSCIENCES TO EDUCATION Growing body of knowledge Methods and models A viewSLIPPERY SLOPESSTRATEGIES
  • 31. ECC 2012-13 questionsHow to produce newknowledge that is usefuland usable?How to make existingknowledge available andusable?How to build a newtranslational researchfield?
  • 32. ECC 2012-13MODELSEvidence-basedmedicine Translational medicine
  • 33. ECC 2012-13Models¤  (Evans Thornton Chalmers Glasziou 2011, p. 1) ¤  Without fair – unbiased – evaluations, useless or even harmful treatments may be prescribed because they are thought to be helpful or, conversely, helpful treatments may be dismissed as useless. And fair tests should be applied to all treatments, no matter what their origin or whether they are viewed as conventional or complementary/alternative. Untested theories about treatment effects, however convincing they may sound, are just not enough. Some theories have predicted that treatments would work, but fair tests have revealed otherwise; other theories have confidently predicted that treatments would not work when, in fact, tests showed that they did.
  • 34. ECC 2012-13 EBM•  Tracing best evidence •  Classification -  Meta-analyses•  Disseminating best evidence •  International collaborations for the production and publication of meta-analyses and •  Journals dedicated to evidence •  Centers EBM training
  • 35. ECC 2012-132 questions left aside: How to producenew evidence that isuseful? How to favoradoption?
  • 36. ECC 2012-13 TM•  From bench to bedside •  selection of knowledge for pre- clinical and clinical trials •  research aimed at applications•  From bedside to bench identification of real needs ofreal patients in ecological conditions,including reasons of non-adoption knowledge issued fromhuman clinical trials is re-injectedbackwards
  • 37. ECC 2012-13¤  (Marincola 2003) ¤  The purpose of translational research is to test, in humans, novel therapeutic strategies developed through experimentation. This concept is so popular that Bench to Bedside Awards were developed within the NIH to encourage collaboration between clinicians and basic scientists across institutes. But a more realistic approach would be to encourage opportunities to pursue Bedside to Bench research since our understanding of human disease is still limited and pre-clinical models have shown a discouraging propensity to fail when applied to humans. Translational research should be regarded as a two-way road: Bench to Bedside and Bedside to Bench. ¤  … Indeed, the scientist attempting to dissect scientifically human diseases as they evolve has to confront unique challenges related with the genetic polymorphism of our species, the extreme and evolving heterogeneity of some diseases (such as cancer or viral disease) and often external constraints posed by ethical and practical considerations. Thus, some prefer to pre-fabricate animal models resembling human diseases to enable the mathematical prediction of a given treatment outcome by simplifying its biology through standardization of the genetic makeup of animals and diseases. These models, however, do not represent the basic essence of human diseases…
  • 38. ECC 2012-13¤  (Brabeck 2008) ¤  Those of us who conduct educational research have a new paradigm to guide our work, if we choose to use it. Like other research initiatives, such as evidence-based practice, this model finds its genesis in the medical sciences, and is coined "translational research.” ¤  … In education, not unlike medicine, vital knowledge too often remains with the researchers and is unavailable to the professionals who are in positions to help children and youths-that is, the teachers. We have a similar "clinical lab to classroom" gap.
  • 39. ECC2012Education/Medicine¤  Similarities ¤  Differences between ¤  … medicine & education: ¤  evidence is much more spurious ¤  organisms and journals for the classification and dissemination of evidence are rare ¤  policies are national ¤  training is not a priority ¤  the profession is less valued ¤  the profession is not scientifically-literate
  • 40. ECC 2012-13¤  (Sawyer 2008, p. 13-14) ¤  The golden standard of scientific methodology is the experimental design, in which students are randomly assigned to different learning environments. Many education studies are  quasi- experimental … they identify two existing classrooms that seem to be identical in every way, and use one teaching method in one classroom, a different teaching method in another classroom, and analyze which students learn more and better. ¤  … learning scientists have drawn on ethnography … ethnomethodology and conversation analysis … and sociocultural anthropology…  ¤  Many learning scientists study the moment-to-moment processes of learning, typically by gathering large amounts of videotape data, and they use a range of methodologies … known as interaction analysis …  ¤  … learning scientists also study longer term learning
  • 41. ECC 2012-13Preconditions •  Include mind-brain- behavior studies in the professional development of teachers •  Understand the teacher’ mind