From homes to playgrounds to classrooms, children are surrounded by opportunities to learn from people. How does this learning take place? This talk discusses three mechanisms of social learning - imitation, collaboration, and conversation. Evidence suggests that social learning is an active process: driven by the child’s ability to read cues that hint at what type of information adults are trying to provide. Understanding learning in this way helps explain how and when our inclination to teach interacts with children’s motivation to learn.