Advertisement

Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 831–848 | Cite as

Cognitive Mechanisms Associated with Children’s Selective Teaching

  • Kathleen H. Corriveau
  • Samuel Ronfard
  • Yixin Kelly Cui
Article

Abstract

Whereas a large body of research has focused on the development of children as learners, relatively little research has focused on the development of children as teachers. Moreover, even less research has focused on the potential cognitive mechanisms associated with high-quality teaching. Here, we review evidence that children’s selective teaching is associated with at least three cognitive skills: the ability to represent mental states, the ability to infer mental states in real-time (i.e., what a pupil knows based on his or her behavior), as well as executive function skills. We note potential cultural differences in children’s teaching and highlight the need for future research.

References

  1. Ashley, J., and M. Tomasello. 1998. Cooperative problem-solving and teaching in preschoolers. Social Development 7 (2): 143–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Benson, J.E., M. a Sabbagh, S.M. Carlson, and P.D. Zelazo. 2013. Individual differences in executive functioning predict preschoolers’ improvement from theory-of-mind training. Developmental Psychology 49 (9): 1615–1627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Birch, S.A.J., S.A. Vauthier, and P. Bloom. 2008. Three- and four-year-olds spontaneously use others’ past performance to guide their learning. Cognition 107: 1018–1034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bonawitz, E., P. Shafto, H. Gaweon, N.D. Goodman, E. Spelke, and L. Schultz. 2011. The double-edged sword of pedagogy: Instruction limits spontaneous exploration and discovery. Cognition 120: 322–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boyd, R., and P.J. Richerson. 2004. The origin and evolution of cultures. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Carpendale, J.I., and M.J. Chandler. 1996. On the distinction between false belief understanding and subscribing to an interpretive theory of mind. Child Development 67: 1686–1706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen X., P.D. Hastings, K.H. Rubin, H. Chen, G. Cen and S.L. Stewart. 1998. Child-rearing attitudes and behavioral inhibition in Chinese and Canadian toddlers: A cross-cultural study. Developmental Psychology 34: 677–686.Google Scholar
  8. Chen, E.E., K.H. Corriveau, and P.L. Harris. 2013. Children lose trust in a consensus composed of outgroup members – But do not retain that trust. Child Development 84: 269–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clegg J.M. and C.H. Legare. 2016. Instrumental and conventional interpretations of behavior are associated with distinct outcomes in early childhood. Child Development 87: 527–542.Google Scholar
  10. Corriveau, K.H. 2015. Learning about teaching requires thinking about the learner. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 38: e37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Corriveau, K.H., and P.L. Harris. 2009a. Preschoolers continue to trust a more accurate informant 1 week after exposure to accuracy information. Developmental Science 12: 1988–1193.Google Scholar
  12. Corriveau, K.H., and P.L. Harris. 2009b. Choosing your informant: Weighing familiarity and past accuracy. Developmental Science 12: 426–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Corriveau, K.H., and K. Kurkul. 2014. “Why does rain fall?”: Children prefer to learn from an informant who uses non-circular explanations. Child Development 85: 1827–1835.Google Scholar
  14. Corriveau, K.H., M. Fusaro, and P.L. Harris. 2009a. Going with the flow: Preschoolers prefer no-dissenters as informants. Psychological Science 20: 372–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Corriveau, K.H., P.L. Harris, E. Meins, C. Ferneyhough, B. Arnott, L. Elliott, B. Liddle, A. Hearn, L. Vittorini, and M. de Rosnay. 2009b. Young children’s trust in their mother’s claims: Longitudinal links with attachment security in infancy. Child Development 80: 750–761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Corriveau K.H. and P.L. Harris. 2010a. Preschoolers (sometimes) defer to the majority in making simple perceptual judgments. Developmental Psychology 46: 437–445.Google Scholar
  17. Corriveau, K.H. and P.L. Harris. 2010b. Young children’s trust in what other people say. In K. Rotenberg (ed.) Interpersonal trust during childhood and adolescence (pp. 87–109). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Corriveau, K.H., K.D. Kinzler, and P.L. Harris. 2013. Accuracy trumps accent in children’s endorsement of object labels. Developmental Psychology 49: 470–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Corriveau, K.H., K. Kurkul. and S. Arunachalam. 2016. Preschoolers’ preference for syntactic complexity varies by socioeconomic status. Child Development 87: 1529-1537.Google Scholar
  20. Csibra, G., and G. Gergeley. 2011. Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 366: 1149–1157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Csibra, G., and G. Gergely. 2009. Natural pedagogy. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13: 148–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Davis-Unger, A.C., and S.M. Carlson. 2008. Development of teaching skills and relations to theory of mind in preschoolers. Journal of Cognition and Development 9: 26–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Davoodi, T., K.H. Corriveau, and P.L. Harris. 2016. Distinguishing between realistic and fantastical figures in Iran. Developmental Psychology 52: 221–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dean, L.G., R.L. Kendal, S.J. Schapiro, B. Thierry, and K.N. Laland. 2012. Identification of the social and cognitive processes underlying human cumulative culture. Science 335: 1114–1118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Diamond, A. 2013. Executive functions. Annual Review of Psychology 64: 135–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fantuzzo, J., & Ginsburg-Block, M. (1998). Reciprocal peer tutoring: Developing and testing effective peer collaborations for elementary school students. Peer-assisted learning, 121-144.Google Scholar
  27. Fogarty, L., P. Strimling, and K.N. Laland. 2011. The evolution of teaching. Evolution 65: 2760–2770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fusaro, M., and P.L. Harris. 2008. Children assess informant reliability using bystanders’ non-verbal cues. Developmental Science 11: 771–777.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fusaro, M., K.H. Corriveau, and P.L. Harris. 2011. The good, the strong, and the accurate. Preschooler’s evaluations of accurate and strong informants. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 110: 561–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gardner, H. 2006. Multiple intelligences: New horizons. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  31. Gauvain, M., R.L. Munroe, and H. Beebe. 2013. Children’s questions in cross-cultural perspective: A four-culture study. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 44: 1148–1165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gelman, S.A., E.A. Ware, E.M. Manczak, and S.A. Graham. 2013. Children’s sensitivity to the knowledge expressed in pedagogical and nonpedagogical contexts. Developmental Psychology 49: 491–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gweon, H., Chu, V. & Schultz, L.E. (2014). To give a fish or to teach how to fish? Children weigh costs and benefits in considering what information to transmit. Proceedings of the 36 th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Google Scholar
  34. Harris, P.L. 2012. Trusting what you’re told: How children learn from others. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Harris, P.L., and K.H. Corriveau. 2011. Young children’s selective trust in informants. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 366: 1179–1187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hart, B., and T.R. Risley. 1995. Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H Brookes Publishing.Google Scholar
  37. Henrich, J., S.J. Heine, and A. Norenzayan. 2010. The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33: 61–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ho, D.Y. 1994. Cognitive socialization in Confucian heritage cultures. In Cross-cultural roots of minority development, eds. P. M. Greenfield & R. R. Cocking, 285–313. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  39. Howe, N., S. Della Porta, H. Recchia, A. Funamoto, and H. Ross. 2015. “this bird Can’t do it ‘cause this bird Doesn’t swim in water”: Sibling teaching during naturalistic home observations in early childhood. Journal of Cognition and Development 16: 314–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Isaacs, S. 1930. Intellectual growth in young children. London: Routledge & Sons Ltd..Google Scholar
  41. Jaswal, V.K., and L.A. Neely. 2006. Adults don’t always know best: Preschoolers use past reliability over age when learning new words. Psychological Science 17: 757–758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Johnston, J.R., and M.Y.A. Wong. 2002. Cultural differences in beliefs and practices concerning talk to children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 45: 916–926.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kamps, D.M., P.M. Barbetta, B.R. Leonard, and J. Delquadri. 1994. Classwide peer tutoring: An integration strategy to improve reading skills and promote peer interactions among students with autism and general education peers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 27: 49–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kim, S., C.W. Kalish, K. Weisman, M.V. Johnson, and K. Shutts. 2016. Young children choose to inform previously knowledgeable others. Journal of Cognition and Development 17: 320–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kinzler, K.D., K.H. Corriveau, and P.L. Harris. 2011. Preschoolers’ use of accent when deciding which informant to trust. Developmental Science 14: 106–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kline, M.A. 2015. How to learn about teaching: An evolutionary framework for the study of teaching behavior in humans and other animals. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 38: e31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Knutsen, J., D.S. Mandell, and D. Frye. 2017. Children with autism are impaired in the understanding of teaching. Developmental science. 20: e12368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Koenig, M.A., and P.L. Harris. 2005. Preschoolers mistrust ignorant and inaccurate speakers. Child Development 76: 1261–1277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Kurkul, K.E., and K.H. Corriveau. 2017. Question, explanation, follow-up: A mechanism for learning from others? Child Development. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12726.
  50. Lancy, D.F. 2010. Learning “from nobody”: The limited role of teaching in folk models of Children’s development. Childhood in the Past 3: 79–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Little, E.E., L.J. Carver, and C.H. Legare. 2016. Cultural variation in triadic infant–caregiver object exploration. Child Development 87: 1130–1145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Liu, D., H.M. Wellman, and T. Tardiff. 2008. Theory of mind development in Chinese children: A meta-analysis of false-belief understanding. Developmental Psychology 44: 523–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Maynard, A.E. 2004. Cultures of teaching in childhood: Formal schooling and Maya sibling teaching at home. Cognitive Development 19: 517–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mercier, H., S. Bernard, and F. Clement. 2014. Early sensitivity to arguments: How preschoolers weight circular explanations. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 125: 102–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Paine, L. 1990. The teacher as virtuoso: A Chinese model for teaching. The Teachers College Record 92 (1): 49–81.Google Scholar
  56. Pang, Y., and D. Richey. 2007. Preschool education in China and the United States: A personal perspective. Early Child Development and Care 177 (1): 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Paradise, R., and B. Rogoff. 2009. Side by side: Learning through observing and pitching in. Ethos 37: 102–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rakoczy, H., N. Brosche, F. Warneken, and M. Tomasello. 2009. Young children’s understanding of the context-relativity of normative rules in conventional games. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 27: 445–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rhodes, M., E. Bonawitz, P. Shafto, A. Chen, and L. Caglar. 2015. Controlling the message: Preschoolers’ use of evidence to teach and deceive others. Frontiers in Psychology 6: 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Rogoff, B. (1991). The joint socialization of development by young children and adults. In Social influences and socialization in infancy (pp. 253-280). Springer US.Google Scholar
  61. Rogoff, B. 2003. The cultural nature of human development. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Ronfard, S., and K.H. Corriveau. 2016. Teaching and preschoolers’ ability to infer knowledge from mistakes. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 150: 87–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Ronfard, S. & Harris, P.L. (2015). The active role played by human learners is key to understanding the efficacy of teaching in humans. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38. Google Scholar
  64. Ronfard, S., Poutre, A., Minigan, A., Atre, R., Wang, M., Strauss, S. & Corriveau, K.H. (2015). Preschoolers as teachers: Relations between theory of mind and patterns of spontaneous instruction. Poster presented at the biannual Cognitive Development Society, Columbus, OH. Google Scholar
  65. Ronfard, S., A. Was, and P.L. Harris. 2016. Children teach methods they could not discover for themselves. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 142: 107–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Roscoe, R.D., and M.T.H. Chi. 2008. Tutor learning: The role of explaining and responding to questions. Instructional Science 36: 321–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sabbagh, M.A., and D.A. Baldwin. 2001. Learning words from knowledgeable versus ignorant speakers: Links between perschoolers’ theory of mind and semantic development. Child Development 72: 1054–1070.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sabbagh, M.A., F. Xu, S.M. Carlson, L.J. Moses, and K. Lee. 2006. The development of executive functioning and theory of mind a comparison of Chinese and US preschoolers. Psychological Science 17: 74–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Shafto, P., N.D. Goodman, and T.L. Griffiths. 2014. A rational account of pedagogical reasoning: Teaching by, and learning from, examples. Cognitive Psychology 71: 55–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Shahaein, A., C.C. Peterson, V. Slaughter, and H.M. Wellman. 2011. Culture and the sequence of steps in theory of mind development. Developmental Psychology 47: 1239–1247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Shahaein, A., M. Nielsen, C.C. Peterson, and V. Slaughter. 2014. Cultural and family influences on children’s theory of mind development: A comparison of Australian and Iranian school-aged children. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 45: 555–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Slavin, R.E. 2015. Cooperative learning in elementary schools. Education 3–13 43 (1): 5–14.Google Scholar
  73. Sobel, D.M., and K.H. Corriveau. 2010. Children monitor individuals’ expertise for word learning. Child Development 81: 669–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Sobel, D.M., and S. Letourneau. 2016. Children’s developing knowledge of and reflection about teaching. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 143: 111–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Strauss, S., and M. Ziv. 2012. Teaching is a natural cognitive ability for humans. Mind, Brain, and Education 6 (4): 186–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Strauss, S., M. Ziv, and A. Stein. 2002. Teaching as a natural cognition and its relations to preschoolers’ developing theory of mind. Cognitive Development 17: 1473–1487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Strauss, S., C.I. Calero, and M. Sigman. 2014. Teaching, naturally. Trends in Neuroscience and Education 3: 38–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Thornton, A., and N.J. Raihani. 2008. The evolution of teaching. Animal Behaviour 75: 1823–1836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Tobin, J.J., D.Y.H. Wu and D.H. Davidson. 1989. Preschool in three cultures: Japan, China and the United States. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  80. Tobin, J., Y. Hsueh, and M. Karasawa. 2009. Preschool in three cultures revisited: China, Japan, and the United States. University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  81. Tomasello, M. 2009. The cultural origins of human cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  82. Vaughan, J.A. 1993. Early childhood education in China. Childhood Education 69: 196–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Visscher, P. (2010). Learning a new way of teaching? The impact of schooling on the teaching approach of Quechua parents and older siblings. (unpublished doctoral dissertation) Harvard University, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
  84. Vygotsky, L.S. 1980. Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  85. Wellman, H.M., and D. Liu. 2004. Scaling of theory of mind tasks. Child Development 75: 523–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Wellman, H.M., F. Fang, D. Liu, L. Zhu, and G. Liu. 2006. Scaling of theory-of-mind understandings in Chinese children. Psychological Science 17: 1075–1081.Google Scholar
  87. Wood, D., H. Wood, S. Ainsworth, and C. O’Malley. 1995. On becoming a tutor: Toward an ontogenetic model. Cognition and Instruction 13 (4): 565–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Wu, D. Y. H. 1996. The handbook of Chinese psychology. In Chinese childhood socialization, eds. M. H. Bond, 143–151. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  89. Zelazo, P.D., A. Carter, J.S. Reznick, and D. Frye. 1997. Early development of executive function: A problem-solving framework. Review of General Psychology 1: 198–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Ziv, M., and D. Frye. 2004. Children’s understanding of teaching: The role of knowledge and belief. Cognitive Development 19: 457–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Ziv, M., A. Solomon, and D. Frye. 2008. Young children’s recognition of the intentionality of teaching. Child Development 79: 1237–1256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Ziv, M., Solomon, A., Strauss, S., & Frye, D. (2015). Relations between the development of teaching and theory of mind in early childhood. Journal of Cognition and Development.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of EducationHarvard UniversityBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations