Speaker: Dr Sheina Lew-Levy (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Drawing upon systematic literature reviews and empirical research with Tanzanian Hadza and Congolese BaYaka, I outline cross-cultural similarities and differences in contemporary hunter-gatherer children’s learning.
I show how play, teaching, participation, and imitation biases contribute to children’s acquisition of skill and cooperative norms. One striking cross-cultural similarity is the primacy of learning with and from peers in the mixed-sex multi-age playgroup.
I argue that peer learning may contribute to more rapid, and potentially less costly, knowledge transfers in humans, and may also generate novel social norms and subsistence practices.
I posit that children and adolescents may be overlooked agents of culture change throughout human history.
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