Get access

Young Children’s Recognition of the Intentionality of Teaching

Authors

  • Margalit Ziv,

    Corresponding author
    1. Tel Aviv University
      concerning this article should be addressed to Margalit Ziv, School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel 69978, or to Douglas Frye, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, 3700 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6216. Electronic mail may be sent to mziv@post.tau.ac.il or to dfrye@gse.upenn.edu.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ayelet Solomon,

    1. Tel Aviv University
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Douglas Frye

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Pennsylvania
      concerning this article should be addressed to Margalit Ziv, School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel 69978, or to Douglas Frye, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, 3700 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6216. Electronic mail may be sent to mziv@post.tau.ac.il or to dfrye@gse.upenn.edu.
    Search for more papers by this author

  • The research was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation (797/02).

concerning this article should be addressed to Margalit Ziv, School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel 69978, or to Douglas Frye, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, 3700 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6216. Electronic mail may be sent to mziv@post.tau.ac.il or to dfrye@gse.upenn.edu.

Abstract

Two studies examined the role of intention in preschoolers’ understanding of teaching. Three- to 5-year-olds judged stories in which there was an intention to teach or not (teaching vs. imitation) for 4 different learning outcomes (successful, partial, failed, and unknown). They also judged 2 stories with embedded instructional intent (e.g., guided discovery learning) and several standard theory of mind tasks. There was an age-related change in the understanding of teaching. Five-year-olds distinguished teaching from imitation and recognized guided discovery learning. Understanding of imitation and false belief was related. The findings indicate that theory of mind is relevant to other means of knowledge acquisition besides perceptual access and that understanding intention could help young children to recognize instruction and identify its different forms.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary