Education by Master-Apprenticeship

Part of the Primatology Monographs book series


Humans and chimpanzees shared a last common ancestor about six million years ago: we are evolutionary neighbors. We continuously seeks answers to “what makes us human?,” “how and why we have evolved?,” and “where will we go?” through understanding brain function, analyzing the genome, excavating fossils, etc. However, the mind and the brain cannot be excavated from the ground. To appreciate the evolutionary history of the human mind, we have to query the minds of other living creatures. The human body is an evolutionary product, and so are the human mind, education, culture, society, mother–infant relationships, etc. This chapter aims to answer the question of the origins of mother–infant relationships and education through a comparative and developmental approach. Not many people recognize that brain size triples from birth to adulthood in both humans and chimpanzees. We reach adulthood after many years of education and long-term learning. There is no schooling in chimpanzees. However, they have their own way of education, known as “education by master-apprenticeship.”


Stone Tool Cooperative Breeding Interbirth Interval Multiple Child Infant Relationship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The present study was financially supported by the following grants: MEXT #16002001, #20002001, JSPS-HOPE, gCOE-A06-D07. Thanks are due to the colleagues, the students, and the Guinean collaborators who helped me to understand the importance of education by master-apprenticeship. Special thanks are due to our late two first field assistants: Mr. Tino Camara and Mr. Guanou Goumi. Without their help and guidance, I could not have acquainted myself with the life of wild chimpanzees at Bossou.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan

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