Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 819–830 | Cite as

The Teaching Instinct

  • Cecilia I. CaleroEmail author
  • A. P. Goldin
  • M. Sigman


Teaching allows human culture to exist and to develop. Despite its significance, it has not been studied in depth by the cognitive neurosciences. Here we propose two hypotheses to boost the claim that teaching is a human instinct, and to expand our understanding of how teaching occurs as a dynamic bi-directional relation within the teacher-learner dyad. First, we explore how children naturally use ostensive communication when teaching; allowing them to be set in the emitter side of natural pedagogy. Then, we hypothesize that the capacity to teach may precede to even have a mature metacognition and, we argue that a teacher will benefit from the interaction with her student, improving her understanding on both contents of knowledge: her own and her student’s. Thus, we propose that teaching may be the driving force of metacognitive development and may be occurring as an instinct from very early ages.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cecilia I. Calero
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • A. P. Goldin
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. Sigman
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Hospital Universitario sede Saavedra, Unidad de Neurobiología Aplicada (CEMIC-UNA)Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Laboratorio de NeurocienciaUniversidad Torcuato Di TellaBuenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.CONICETBuenos AiresArgentina

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