PEN Academic Publishing   |  ISSN: 1554-5210

Original article | International Journal of Progressive Education 2018, Vol. 14(2) 176-189

What does it mean to teach? Redefining the teacher in an era of misconception

W. Jason Niedermeyer

pp. 176 - 189   |  DOI: https://doi.org/10.29329/ijpe.2018.139.13   |  Manu. Number: MANU-1708-29-0001.R2

Published online: April 25, 2018  |   Number of Views: 100  |  Number of Download: 217


Abstract

It seems that in the mind of the public, teachers have come to be defined by what they solicit (protection in the form of a union) and what they fail to elicit (passing scores for students on standardized tests) as opposed to what it is they do, which is teach. This misinterpretation may very well arise from the lack of clarity in defining the practice of teaching. Using the emerging recognition of non-human animals as social transmitters of information to provide insight into what teaching is from an evolutionary perspective, this paper explores the inextricable link between biology and educational philosophy. Using Dewey’s (1902, 1944, 1953) polymathic approach to investigating and understanding education as both a model and a foundation, this paper identifies nexus points between pedagogical theory, cognitive neuroscience, and ethology. The result is a redefinition of both the teacher and the act of teaching that has the potential to bring clarity to the purpose of a profession that has long suffered from public—and political—misperception.

Keywords: Teaching, John Dewey, social transmission, academic optimism, evolutionary education, teacher evaluation


How to Cite this Article?

APA 6th edition
Niedermeyer, W.J. (2018). What does it mean to teach? Redefining the teacher in an era of misconception. International Journal of Progressive Education, 14(2), 176-189. doi: 10.29329/ijpe.2018.139.13

Harvard
Niedermeyer, W. (2018). What does it mean to teach? Redefining the teacher in an era of misconception. International Journal of Progressive Education, 14(2), pp. 176-189.

Chicago 16th edition
Niedermeyer, W. Jason (2018). "What does it mean to teach? Redefining the teacher in an era of misconception". International Journal of Progressive Education 14 (2):176-189. doi:10.29329/ijpe.2018.139.13.

References
  1. Bamberger, J. (1991). The laboratory for making things. In D. Schon (Ed.), The reflective turn: Case studies in and on educational practice. New York: Teachers College Press.  [Google Scholar]
  2. Bargh, J. A. (2014). The historical origins of priming as the preparation of behavioral responses: Unconscious carryover and contextual influences of real-world importance. Social Cognition, 32(Supplement), 209–224. [Google Scholar]
  3. Bengtsson, S. L., Dolan, R. J., & Passingham, R. E. (2011). Priming for self-esteem influences the monitoring of one’s own performance. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 6, 417–425. [Google Scholar]
  4. Brimelow, P. (2004). The worm in the apple: How the teacher unions are destroying American education. New York: Harper Collins. [Google Scholar]
  5. Brown, S. L., & Vaughan, C. C. (2009). Play: How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul. New York: Avery Pub Group. [Google Scholar]
  6. Bruns, B., & Luque, J. (2014). Great teachers: How to raise student learning in Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank Publications. [Google Scholar]
  7. Calude, A. S., & Pagel, M. (2011). How do we use language? Shared patterns in the frequency of word use across 17 world languages. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 366(1567), 1101–1107.  [Google Scholar]
  8. Caro, T. M., & Hauser, M. D. (1992). Is there teaching in nonhuman animals? The Quarterly Review of Biology, 67(2), 151–174. [Google Scholar]
  9. Clark, A. (2016). Surfing uncertainty: Prediction, action, and the embodied mind. New York: Oxford University Press. [Google Scholar]
  10. Collins, A., & Halverson, R. (2009). Rethinking education in the age of technology: The digital revolution and schooling in America. New York: Teachers College Press. [Google Scholar]
  11. Crawford, M. B. (2009). Shop class as soulcraft: An inquiry into the value of work. New York: Penguin Press. [Google Scholar]
  12. Csibra, G., & Gergely, G. (2011). Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 366(1567), 1149–1157. [Google Scholar]
  13. Dalton, T. C. (2002). Becoming John Dewey. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. [Google Scholar]
  14. De Waal, F. (2006). Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are. New York: Riverhead Books. [Google Scholar]
  15. De Waal, F. (2009). The age of empathy. New York: Harmony. [Google Scholar]
  16. Dewey, J. (1902). The school and society and the child and the curriculum. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. [Google Scholar]
  17. Dewey, J. (1929). Human nature and conduct: An introduction to social psychology. New York: The Modern Library. [Google Scholar]
  18. Dewey, J. (1944). Democracy and education. New York: The Free Press. [Google Scholar]
  19. Dewey, J. (1953). Experience and education. New York: Macmillan. [Google Scholar]
  20. Dewey, J. (1958). Experience and nature. New York: Dover. [Google Scholar]
  21. Dewey, J. (1980). Art as experience. New York: Perigee. [Google Scholar]
  22. Dewey, J. (1997a). How we think. New York: Dover Publications. [Google Scholar]
  23. Dewey, J. (1997b). The influence of Darwin on philosophy and other essays. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. [Google Scholar]
  24. Drea, C. M., & Carter, A. N. (2009). Cooperative problem solving in a social carnivore. Animal Behaviour, 78(4), 967–977.  [Google Scholar]
  25. Dunbar, R. I. M. (1993). Coevolution of neocortical size, group size and language in humans. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 16(4), 681–693.  [Google Scholar]
  26. Dutton, D. (2009). The art instinct: Beauty, pleasure, & human evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [Google Scholar]
  27. Eberts, R., Hollenbeck, K., & Stone, J. (2002). Teacher performance incentives and student outcomes. Journal of Human Resources, 37(4): 913–927. [Google Scholar]
  28. Egan, K. (1997). The educated mind: How cognitive tools shape our understanding. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Google Scholar]
  29. Fleischman, H. L., Hopstock, P. J., Pelczar, M. P., & Shelley, B. E. (2010). Highlights from PISA 2009: Performance of US 15-Year-Old Students in Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy in an International Context. NCES 2011-004. National Center for Education Statistics.  [Google Scholar]
  30. Gallese, V., Fadiga, L., Fogassi, L., & Rizzolatti, G. (1996). Action recognition in the premotor cortex. Brain, 119(2), 593.  [Google Scholar]
  31. Gannon, P. J., Holloway, R. L., Broadfield, D. C., & Braun, A. R. (1998). Asymmetry of chimpanzee planum temporale: Humanlike pattern of Wernicke's brain language area homolog. Science, 279(5348), 220.  [Google Scholar]
  32. Gardner, H. E. (2000). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York: Basic Books. [Google Scholar]
  33. Garrett, N., & Sharot, T. (2017). Optimistic update bias holds firm: Three tests of robustness following Shah et al. Consciousness and Cognition, 50, 12–22. [Google Scholar]
  34. Gazzaniga, M. S. (2009). Human: The science behind what makes us unique. New York: HarperCollins. [Google Scholar]
  35. Geary, D. C. (2005). The origin of mind: Evolution of brain, cognition, and general intelligence. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. [Google Scholar]
  36. Gil-da-Costa, R., Martin, A., Lopes, M. A., Munoz, M., Fritz, J. B., & Braun, A. R. (2006). Species-specific calls activate homologs of Broca's and Wernicke's areas in the macaque. Nature Neuroscience, 9(8), 1064–1070.  [Google Scholar]
  37. Groos, K. (1898). The play of animals (E. Baldwin, Trans.). New York: Appleton. [Google Scholar]
  38. Guinet, C., & Bouvier, J. (1995). Development of intentional stranding hunting techniques in killer whale (Orcinus orca) calves at Crozet Archipelago. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 73(1), 27–33.  [Google Scholar]
  39. Gutek, G. L. (2004). Philosophical and ideological voices in education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. [Google Scholar]
  40. Henshilwood, C. S., & d'Errico, F. (2011). Homo Symbolicus: The Dawn of Language, Imagination and Spirituality. London: John Benjamins Publishing Company. [Google Scholar]
  41. Hirsch, E. D., Kett, J. F., & Trefil, J. S. (1988). Cultural literacy: What every American needs to know. New York: Vintage. [Google Scholar]
  42. Hoppitt, W. J. E., Brown, G. R., Kendal, R., Rendell, L., Thornton, A., Webster, M. M., & Laland, K. N. (2008). Lessons from animal teaching. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 23(9), 486–493.  [Google Scholar]
  43. Horner, V., Proctor, D., Bonnie, K. E., Whiten, A., & de Waal, F. B. M. (2010). Prestige affects cultural learning in chimpanzees. Plos One, 5(5), e10625.  [Google Scholar]
  44. King, G. E. (1980). Alternative uses of primates and carnivores in the reconstruction of early hominid behavior. Ethology and Sociobiology, 1(2), 99–109.  [Google Scholar]
  45. Leslie, A. M. (1987). Pretense and representation: The origins of "theory of mind". Psychological Review, 94(4), 412–426.  [Google Scholar]
  46. Lieberman, P. (2002). Human language and our reptilian brain: the subcortical bases of speech, syntax, and thought. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. [Google Scholar]
  47. Luce, S. (2012). The good, the bad, and the ugly: A labor day assessment of the past year. Paper presented at the New Labor Forum. [Google Scholar]
  48. Lyman, K. (2011). Teaching and learning in the midst of the Wisconsin uprising. Rethinking Schools, 25(4), 15–19.  [Google Scholar]
  49. Marler, P. (1991). Song-learning behavior: the interface with neuroethology. Trends in Neurosciences, 14(5), 199–206.  [Google Scholar]
  50. Matsuzawa, T., Biro, D., Humle, T., Inoue-Nakamura, N., Tonooka, R., & Yamakoshi, G. (Eds.). (2001). Emergence of culture in wild chimpanzees: Education by master-apprenticeship. Tokyo: Springer. [Google Scholar]
  51. McCaffrey, D. F., Lockwood, J., Koretz, D., Louis, T. A., & Hamilton, L. (2004). Models for value-added modeling of teacher effects. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 29(1), 67–101.  [Google Scholar]
  52. Minkel, J. (2006). Learn by reverse replay. Scientific American Mind, 17(2), 11–11.  [Google Scholar]
  53. Mitchell, R. M., & Tarter, C. J. (2016). A path analysis of the effects of principal professional orientation towards leadership, professional teacher behavior, and school academic optimism on school reading achievement. Societies, 6(1), 5. [Google Scholar]
  54. Moe, T. M. (2011). Special interest: Teachers unions and America's public schools. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press. [Google Scholar]
  55. Muller, K. (2010). Evolutionary educational psychology: The disparity between how children want to learn and how they are being taught. EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium, 2, 12–23.  [Google Scholar]
  56. Noddings, N. (2003). Caring: A feminine approach to ethics & moral education. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. [Google Scholar]
  57. Noddings, N. (2012). Philosophy of Education (3rd ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press. [Google Scholar]
  58. Northouse, P. G. (2012). Leadership: Theory and practice. New York: Sage Publications, Inc. [Google Scholar]
  59. OECD (2012). PISA 2009 Technical Report. Paris: OECD Publishing. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264167872-en [Google Scholar]
  60. Pearson, A. T. (1989). The teacher: Theory and practice in teacher education. New York: Routledge. [Google Scholar]
  61. Piaget, J. (1964). Part I: Cognitive development in children: Piaget development and learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 2(3), 176–186. [Google Scholar]
  62. Piaget, J. (1970). Science of Education and the Psychology of the Child. New York: Orion Press. [Google Scholar]
  63. Pinker, S. (2007). The stuff of thought: Language as a window into human nature. New York: Viking Press. [Google Scholar]
  64. Popp, J. A. (2007). Evolution's first philosopher: John Dewey and the continuity of nature. New York: SUNY Press. [Google Scholar]
  65. Premack, D., & Premack, A. (1996). Why animals lack pedagogy and some cultures have more of it than others. The handbook of education and human development: New models of learning, teaching, and schooling, 302–323.  [Google Scholar]
  66. Premack, D., & Woodruff, G. (1978). Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1(4), 515–526.  [Google Scholar]
  67. Raihani, N. J., & Ridley, A. R. (2008). Experimental evidence for teaching in wild pied babblers. Animal Behaviour, 75(1), 3–11.  [Google Scholar]
  68. Rath, T., & Conchie, B. (2008). Strengths based leadership: Great leaders, teams, and why people follow. New York: Gallup Press. [Google Scholar]
  69. Ravitch, D. (2011). The death and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. New York: Basic Books. [Google Scholar]
  70. Richardson, T. O., Sleeman, P. A., McNamara, J. M., Houston, A. I., & Franks, N. R. (2007). Teaching with evaluation in ants. Current Biology, 17(17), 1520–1526.  [Google Scholar]
  71. Ridley, M. (2010). The rational optimist: How prosperity evolves. New York: Harpercollins. [Google Scholar]
  72. Ritzer, G. (2010). The McDonaldization of Society 6. New York: Sage Publications, Inc. [Google Scholar]
  73. Robinson, K., & Aronica, L. (2009). The element: How finding your passion changes everything. New York: Viking Press. [Google Scholar]
  74. Sanders, W. L., & Horn, S. P. (1994). The Tennessee value-added assessment system (TVAAS): Mixed-model methodology in educational assessment. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 8(3), 299–311.  [Google Scholar]
  75. Sarason, S. B. (1990). The challenge of art to psychology. New Haven: Yale University Press. [Google Scholar]
  76. Seyfarth, R. M., & Cheney, D. L. (2010). Production, usage, and comprehension in animal vocalizations. Brain and Language, 115(1), 92–100.  [Google Scholar]
  77. Sezgin, F., & Erdogan, O. (2015). Academic optimism, hope and zest for work as predictors of teacher self-efficacy and perceived success. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 15(1), 7–19. [Google Scholar]
  78. Sharot, T. (2011). The optimism bias: A tour of the irrationally positive brain. New York: Pantheon Press. [Google Scholar]
  79. Shulman, L. S. (2004). The wisdom of practice: Essays on teaching, learning, and learning to teach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. [Google Scholar]
  80. Spocter, M. A., Hopkins, W. D., Garrison, A. R., Bauernfeind, A. L., Stimpson, C. D., Hof, P. R., & Sherwood, C. C. (2010). Wernicke's area homologue in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and its relation to the appearance of modern human language. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 277(1691), 2165.  [Google Scholar]
  81. Strauss, S., Ziv, M., & Stein, A. (2002). Teaching as a natural cognition and its relations to preschoolers' developing theory of mind. Cognitive Development, 17(3–4), 1473–1487.  [Google Scholar]
  82. Taglialatela, J. P., Russell, J. L., Schaeffer, J. A., & Hopkins, W. D. (2008). Communicative signaling activates Broca's' homolog in chimpanzees. Current Biology, 18(5), 343–348.  [Google Scholar]
  83. Thornton, A., & McAuliffe, K. (2006). Teaching in wild meerkats. Science, 313(5784), 227.  [Google Scholar]
  84. Thornton, A., & Raihani, N. J. (2008). The evolution of teaching. Animal Behaviour, 75(6), 1823–1836.  [Google Scholar]
  85. Todd, P. M. (2000). The ecological rationality of mechanisms evolved to make up minds. American Behavioral Scientist, 43(6), 940.  [Google Scholar]
  86. Tomasello, M., Carpenter, M., Call, J., Behne, T., & Moll, H. (2005). Understanding and sharing intentions: The origins of cultural cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28(5), 675–690.  [Google Scholar]
  87. Tomasello, M., Kruger, A. C., & Ratner, H. H. (1993). Cultural learning. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 16(03), 495–511.  [Google Scholar]
  88. Walsh, K., & Podgursky, M. (2001). Teacher certification reconsidered: Stumbling for quality. A rejoinder. Baltimore, MD: Abell Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.abell.org/pubsitems/edcert_rejoinder_1 101.pdf [Google Scholar]
  89. Walumbwa, F. O., Avolio, B. J., Gardner, W. L., Wernsing, T. S., & Peterson, S. J. (2008). Authentic leadership: Development and validation of a theory-based measure. Journal of Management, 34(1), 89–126.  [Google Scholar]
  90. Weiner, L. (2012). Teacher unionism reborn. New Politics, 13(4), 89–98. [Google Scholar]
  91. Whiten, A. (2011). The scope of culture in chimpanzees, humans and ancestral apes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 366(1567), 997.  [Google Scholar]
  92. Whiten, A., Schick, K., & Toth, N. (2009). The evolution and cultural transmission of percussive technology: integrating evidence from palaeoanthropology and primatology. Journal of Human Evolution, 57(4), 420–435.  [Google Scholar]
  93. Wilson, D. S. (2007). Evolution for everyone: How Darwin's theory can change the way we think aout our lives. New York: Bantam Dell. [Google Scholar]
  94. Wilson, F. R. (1999). The hand: How its use shapes the brain, language, and human culture. New York: Vintage. [Google Scholar]
  95. Winn, R. B., & Randall, H. J. J. (Eds.). (1959). John Dewey Dictionary of Education. New York: Philosophical Library. [Google Scholar]