Many times, we may overlook an important principle of social existence: anything has no meaning in itself, and meaning is obtained when someone can share it. The need to share and communicate is a very natural tendency.
So we found that children have a “teaching instinct.” They are born teachers, and children are very willing to share it no matter what kind of knowledge they have.
Children are already communicating before they learn to speak. They cry, they beg, they ask. However, when they exchange information, do they intend to make up for the knowledge gap? Will they teach before they start talking?
Answer these questions with a clever game. An actor drops an object from the table and lets a one-year-old child see it. The scene is designed like this: the child can see where it falls, but the actor can’t see it. Later, although the actor worked hard to find the object, he did not find it. The child acted spontaneously and pointed out the location of the object.
This may be just an unconscious behavior. In this case, the child indicates to the actor where the object fell, but did not show him, how to find it when it fell again.
However, the most instructive thing about this experiment is that if the show clearly shows that the actor knows where the object is falling, the one-year-old child will never take action anymore.
In a sense, a one-year-old child has a practical knowledge perspective. In other words, it is valuable only if the effort to spread knowledge is useful to another person.
Before learning to speak, children can be proactively intervened by reminding the actors when they are expected to make mistakes. In other words, they try to bridge the communication gap even when they respond to behaviors that they anticipate will happen but have not yet occurred.
This ability to anticipate the actions of others and act accordingly is at the heart of the teaching, and even before the baby begins to talk and walk, it is expressed.
When we were children, no one showed us how to teach. We obviously don’t have a teacher’s college or a teaching method seminar. But if we do have an innate teaching instinct, we should be natural and effective, at least in childhood, before the instinct degenerates.
Here, things that are not said are more important than what is said. There are some general methods of communication. In addition to discourse, semantics, and content, one of the advantages of effective conversation is that they operate on an explicit level. If we raise one hand, hold a salt shaker in our hand, and ask someone to “get it,” then you don’t need to say what we have to offer him.
This is a precise dance of posture and discourse. It happened instantly, we didn’t even know that we were dancing. When we say “that”, the other person will understand when pointing with one hand. This is an efficient way to communicate. Monkeys can do countless complicated things, but they don’t understand the rules that are so simple for us.
We think these poses are natural, but no one has ever taught us, and that determines the efficiency of communicating a message. Perhaps the most striking proof of how postures come naturally and without teaching is that they are used by people who are innately blind, and even in many cases, they never perceive through other sensory channels.
In addition, we also found an interesting phenomenon in which children naturally teach with enthusiasm and enthusiasm. They smile and enjoy the process of teaching. During a class for a newcomer, sometimes the association changes, some of which are not related to communication. For example, a boy is talking about his sister, saying that it is raining, or that it is very hot; at other times, children will convey content related to the game they want to teach, such as its logic or strategy. At that moment, children who served as teachers began to use explicit clues one after another. The display of that posture means that children know how to teach in order to gain the attention of the learner’s more emotional channels.
In early childhood, we are all eager, enthusiastic and efficient teachers. However, we still need to answer the most difficult question: Why should we teach? Why do we invest time and effort to share our knowledge with others? The “why” behind human behavior always leads to countless questions and unexplored answers.
Let’s look at an example that is much simpler: why should we drink water? We can give a utilitarian answer: the body needs water. However, no one drinks water because they understand the premise: we drink water because we are thirsty. But then, why are we thirsty? Where does the desire to stand up and find water come from?
We can come up with a biological answer: there is a circuit in the brain that connects the motive engine (dopamine) to the water when it detects dehydration. However, this only points to another question: Why do we have that kind of loop? The avalanche of this problem always ends with a view of evolutionary history.
If that mechanism is not there, and when our body is short of water, we don’t feel the desire to drink water, then we will not ask these questions here today. However, a system that is formed during the evolution process is neither accurate nor perfect. We like something that is not good for us, and we don’t like something that is good for us.
Therefore, to understand the root cause of the brain circuit that we are doing, a reasonable premise is that in some environments, it is adaptive. This is an evolutionary view of the history of biological development.
In the jungle, many primates have a primary language. This language is based on warnings of different dangers. We can think of this as something like a prelude to baby teaching, as a kind of “bird argument”: a bird in a special position that can see things that the other can’t see will be shared in a public message. That kind of knowledge. Each bird has this instinct, which creates a collective alarm system that works well for the entire flock of birds.
Sharing knowledge may be harmful to the sharer. But we understand that in many situations, the dissemination of information can create groups that have the resources to give group members an advantage. These are generally typical arguments for understanding the evolution of altruistic behavior; for the understanding of the roots of interpersonal communication, these generally belong to a utilitarian reason.
Teaching others is a way to take care of ourselves. The tendency to share knowledge is an individual characteristic that allows us to inevitably form groups. It is the seed of culture. Creating cultural networks in small groups, tribes, and collectives allows each individual to function better than when they act alone. Beyond this utilitarian perspective, teaching is not only a way of understanding things and causes, but also a way of understanding others and ourselves.