Prior expectations in pedagogical situations


Much of human learning occurs in social situations, and among these, pedagogical situations may afford the most powerful learning. In pedagogical situations, a teacher chooses the concept that they are going to teach and the examples that they use to teach the concept. If learners know that a teacher is helpful and understands the implications, this could support strong inferences. In previous work, Shafto & Goodman (2008) proposed and tested a model of pedagogical data selection. We integrate special-purpose pedagogical expectations in this framework, and derive a task that allows independent assessment of pedagogical expectations. Two experiments contrast people's expectations about pedagogical and communicative situations. The results show that people's expectations differ in these situations, and that in pedagogical situations people expect teachers to present generalizable and semantically coherent knowledge. We discuss the implications for modeling learning in pedagogical settings, as well as for understanding human learning more broadly.

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