Evolutionary Educational Psychology: The Disparity Between How Children Want to Learn and How They Are Being Taught by Kristyn Muller.
The goals of evolutionary educational psychology include revealing the source of children’s motivational biases toward learning and using those biases as a sound basis for educational studies and reform. In this paper, two evolutionary based lines of research, folk domain theory and Gray’s research on play, are used to explore the difference between how children learned in ancestral hunter-gatherer societies and how they learn in modern societies. By emphasizing how children have learned over evolutionary history, issues that arise with modern educational approaches can be approached in a new and useful way. For example, instead of diagnosing a highly active child with a disorder, one could understand that such behavior is natural. Evolutionary theory brings a new and important perspective to educational and developmental studies.