LFE Colloquium talk by M.Sc. Dustin Eirdosh (Leipzig University)

On Friday, April 12, 2019, a new Research Colloquium takes place at the LFE. M.Sc. Dustin Eirdosh (Leipzig University | Institute for Biology) will give a lecture.

The talk is entitled: Are humans a cooperative species? Everyday conceptions and scientific clarification for biology education

Evolutionary anthropologists commonly describe humans as a highly cooperative species, ultra-social in our capacity to construct elaborate networks of material and symbolic exchange (Tomasello 2009; Henrich 2015). Despite this scientific perspective, students, teachers, and everyday citizens may not necessarily share this view (Brem et al 2003), or even intuitively understand such claims without appropriate supports (sensu Evans & Rosengren 2018). Reflecting on the conditions and complex causal dynamics within which our species evolved to our current state of global interdependence offers diverse interdisciplinary phenomena for students to engage across grade levels and disciplines (Eirdosh & Hanisch 2017). From genetics and physiology to behavior, cognition, and culture, the biological context of human cooperation is a model field of study integrating systems thinking across phylogenetic and developmental perspectives (e.g. Sterelny 2012; Hayes & Sanford 2014; Heyes 2018). Additionally, the topic of human cooperation offers potential to link reflections on scientific perspectives of human evolution with the everyday experience of being a human navigating the social and ethical dilemmas of today’s world (Bernard & Glantz 2012; Wilson 2016). From natural resource use and climate change to individual health and social equality, cooperation dilemmas pervade the challenges that students do or will experience within their lifetimes. In this context, understanding interdisciplinary perspectives on human cooperation offers a meaningful platform for advancing Education for Sustainable Development. This work integrates multiple lines of inquiry to offer classroom teachers improved guidance and teaching tools for learning about the evolution of human cooperation in the context of global sustainability. Design-based research helps illuminate a ‘cognitive bridge’ from everyday student conceptions to more scientifically adequate understandings that can be scaled from single lessons to entire curricula (Hanisch & Eirdosh 2019; Evans & Rosengren 2018; Wiggins & McTighe 2005). By employing an approach emphasizing teacher-researcher collaboration and community partnerships (Hanisch & Eirdosh 2019), we highlight the potential for Leipzig to provide international leadership in advancing the science of cooperation as a topic in science and sustainability education.

When? Friday, April 12, 2019 | 11 am – 1 pm
Where? Leipzig University, Marschnerstraße 31, House 3, Room 301 („Turmzimmer”), D-04109 Leipzig

Madlen Bartholmeß
Phone +49 (0) 341 97 31 870