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Education and the social brain: linking language, thinking, teaching and learning

Social brain or institutions, cultural tools and social practices? How to explain school processes and inequalities?

Comments on Neil Mercer’s paper
Jean-Yves Rochex
p. 25-33

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Introduction
Is "social brain" a useful concept or metaphor?
How to think the research on classroom paradox?
Bernstein and Vygotski: to give to vygotskian approach its full social dimension
What do we mean when we say social?

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Introduction

I would try here to comment and discuss Neil Mercer’s very interesting paper (and two other ones he published before: Mercer, 2013; Mercer & Howe, 2012) from my point of view and my research topics which aim to describe and to explain the social and school processses of construction of school inequalities by crossing the contribution and the questions of different research fields: cultural psychology (especially Vygotskian theory), didactics and sociology. Of course, I agree with the main theoretical propositions which are the core of Neil Mercer’s argument (especially the social nature of human cognition and its consequences for education and teaching-learning processes), but I would try to discuss the “social brain hypothesis,” to read Vygotski’s works and to distinguish and to develop the different meanings ot the word social in our research approaches and conceptual frames, in some different ways than Neil Mercer does.

Is "social brain" a useful concept or metaphor?

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Référence papier

Jean-Yves Rochex, « Social brain or institutions, cultural tools and social practices? How to explain school processes and inequalities? », Éducation et didactique, 10-2 | 2016, 25-33.

Référence électronique

Jean-Yves Rochex, « Social brain or institutions, cultural tools and social practices? How to explain school processes and inequalities? », Éducation et didactique [En ligne], 10-2 | 2016, mis en ligne le 08 juillet 2018, consulté le 22 août 2017. URL : http://educationdidactique.revues.org/2522 ; DOI : 10.4000/educationdidactique.2522

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Auteur

Jean-Yves Rochex

ESCOL-CIRCEFT, Université Paris 8 Saint-Denis

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