The Natural Environment for Children’s Self-Education


A major theme of this blog is that we come into the world with instincts that are well designed to promote our education. We have instincts to observe, explore, play, and converse with others in ways that endow us with the skills, knowledge, and values needed to live and thrive in the physical and social world into which we are born. We do this with great intensity and joy. These educational instincts were shaped by natural selection during the hundreds of thousands of years in which our ancestors survived as hunter-gatherers (see August 2 posting). We might expect, therefore, that these instincts would operate best in the social environment of a hunter-gatherer band, or in a modern environment that replicates certain aspects of a hunter-gatherer band.