Teaching Evolution and Using Evolution to Teach
Source: Education Week
Whenever evolution and education are mentioned together in my circles, it is usually to discuss teaching evolution and keeping creationism out of public school classrooms. But evolution has an even more important role to play in education as a theory that can inform the design of more effective school programs and improve the teaching of all subjects.
Schools and classrooms are first and foremost social groups whose members must cooperate to achieve certain goals. If they fail as cooperative units in general terms, then they will fail to meet their specific objectives. The last few decades have witnessed a renaissance of theory and research on how groups function as cooperative units, based on general evolutionary principles that apply to all species and on our own evolutionary history. This knowledge can be used to enhance cooperation in real-world settings, such as educating our children. There is nothing static about cooperation. It succeeds under some environmental conditions and fails under others. We, therefore, evolved to be highly conditional in our willingness to cooperate with others. Since we are a cultural species that lives largely in a world of our own making, we have tremendous latitude to construct social environments that favor cooperation as an evolutionarily successful strategy, but only if we make use of our knowledge.
Read more at Education Week