Re: Milk Bottles & Animal IQ & teaching

Mark Mills (
Thu, 18 Dec 97 20:44:23 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Milk Bottles & Animal IQ & teaching
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 97 20:44:23 -0600
From: Mark Mills <>
To: "memetics list" <>

Bruce wrote:

>As an ex-teacher, I have some
>strong views on education. The empirical data would indicate that a
>skill can be transferred from teacher to student by imitation and
>repetitive practice. This could be interpreted as pattern recognition.
>However, this does not explain why some students have exceptional
>"talent" in a specific area. Is this genetic, memetic or pattern
>identification? (Or, dare I say, Instinct?)
>Having said that, I have always made a distinction between "skills
>training" and "teaching" which I define as leading the student to the
>discovery of concepts and the cognitive manipulation of concepts by
>duplicating the processes that enable comprehension.

The notion that comprehension is 'enabled' recommends the 'inborn meme'
model. It suggests 'comprehension' is a gift of birth, awaiting the
experiential events which activate it. If 'comprehension' is a meme,
then it is an inborn meme.

I'm reminded of the ongoing debate about coaching and teaching. Some say
coaching is an effort to bring out inborn talents, while teaching is
about duplicating performance standards. Some say coaching leads to
chaos unless the strictest possible performance standards are in place.
A Buddhist would probably say there is only coaching.

I don't know the answer, but I think memetics offers an excellent model
for seeking understanding of the educational process.


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