This study examined the link between theory of mind (ToM) in middle childhood and teachers’ propensity for mental-state language and self-reported conversational-instruction strategies. Multilevel analyses on 430 Italian children (221 girls, Mage = 9.34 years, SD =.63, Range: 7.95–11.43 years) from 27 primary-school classrooms and their teachers showed that: (i) there were striking between-classroom differences in children's ToM; (ii) teachers’ propensity for mental-state language (β =.14) and self-reported conversational-instruction strategies (β =.16) were uniquely associated with pupils’ ToM even when child-related (i.e., age, verbal ability, number of siblings and SES) and teacher-related variables (i.e., ToM, verbal ability and years of experience) were controlled; and (iii) the association between self-reported conversational-instruction strategies and ToM was significant in older children and smaller classrooms. These findings extend socio-cultural accounts of ToM by showing a developmental continuity of environmental effects on children's ToM.

Mind what teacher says: Teachers’ propensity for mental-state language and children's theory of mind in middle childhood

Lecce S.;Ronchi L.
;
2021-01-01

Abstract

This study examined the link between theory of mind (ToM) in middle childhood and teachers’ propensity for mental-state language and self-reported conversational-instruction strategies. Multilevel analyses on 430 Italian children (221 girls, Mage = 9.34 years, SD =.63, Range: 7.95–11.43 years) from 27 primary-school classrooms and their teachers showed that: (i) there were striking between-classroom differences in children's ToM; (ii) teachers’ propensity for mental-state language (β =.14) and self-reported conversational-instruction strategies (β =.16) were uniquely associated with pupils’ ToM even when child-related (i.e., age, verbal ability, number of siblings and SES) and teacher-related variables (i.e., ToM, verbal ability and years of experience) were controlled; and (iii) the association between self-reported conversational-instruction strategies and ToM was significant in older children and smaller classrooms. These findings extend socio-cultural accounts of ToM by showing a developmental continuity of environmental effects on children's ToM.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1452068
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