The evolved child: Applying evolutionary developmental psychology to modern schooling
Review articleOpen access

AbstractEvolutionary developmental psychology, an emerging subdiscipline of evolutionary approaches to human behavior and cognition, focuses on the adaptive nature of psychological mechanisms built into the brains of juveniles, some of which may serve immediate demands at different stages of development, and some of which serve preparatory roles for maturity. The current article reviews some of the central ideas of evolutionary developmental psychology and investigates how human educability, which is qualitatively different from the learning capacity of other species, is governed by specific adaptations of Homo sapiens' childhood that serve to orient the young child to his or her cultural environment. Evolutionary developmental psychology, we argue, can be especially informative to educational policy makers who wish to take children's natural limitations, as well as their intellectual pliability, into account when planning curricula.

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