Using Theory of Mind to Promote Conceptual Change in Science

Natassa Kyriakopoulou, Styliani Vosniadou

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    We argue that learning science requires children to move from perceptually based representations to more abstract conceptual representations and to understand that appearance may sometimes deceive us and that the same phenomenon in the world can have more than one representation when seen from different perspectives. We also argue that the beginnings of such an epistemological perspective can be found in young children’s ability to think about the difference between their beliefs and the beliefs of others in the social domain, i.e., their Theory of Mind. We present the results of two empirical studies that show significant correlations between children’s growing Theory of Mind, developing epistemological thinking, and science learning, and suggest that Theory of Mind tasks can be used to promote conceptual change in science.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1447-1462
    Number of pages16
    JournalScience & Education
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014


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