The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Developing Theory-Of-Mind Abilities: Adopting the Principles of Action Research

István Zsigmond, Sapientia - Hungarian University of Transylvania (Romania)

Panayiota Metallidou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Plousia Misailidi, University of Ioannina (Greece)

Mary Koutselini, University of Cyprus (Cyprus)

Kalypso Iordanou, University of UCLan (Cyprus)

Eleonora Papaleontiou – Louca, European University Cyprus (Cyprus)


Metacognition has been acknowledged as a key component of self-regulation and has also a multidimensional nature, with at least three components: (a) metacognition as theory of mind, (b) metacognition as epistemic thinking, and (c) metacognition as knowledge and regulation of our cognitive self. There is a need for metacognitive interventions has to take into consideration all these dimensions. Moreover, besides targeting student’s metacognition interventions has to target teacher’s level of metacognition for optimal learning outcomes. In an Erasmus+ collaborative project researchers from five European countries (Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, and Romania) collaborated with the aim to promote primary and secondary teachers’ and students’ metacognition. A multicomponent metacognitive training course for teachers was developed incorporating metacognitive knowledge and skills, epistemic thinking, and Theory of Mind (ToM), adopting the principles of action research. The results of the intervention for promoting teacher’s’ and students’ theory of mind skills will be presented.

The intervention’s aim with respect to developing TOM skills was to inform teachers of recent research findings showing the importance of TOM abilities for learning and critical thinking and to present possible teaching approaches that can be incorporated into their everyday teaching practice to support the development of TOM abilities. TOM tasks containing naturalistic and complex stories adapted from (Happé, 1994) were administered before and after intervention. Advanced theory-of-mind (TOM) abilities were also measured by comparing pre- and post-intervention test results of stories assessing higher order false belief understanding adapted from (Osterhaus, Koerber, & Sodian, 2016). Preliminary data from comparing before and after test results of 619 students (11–15-year-old) from Romania will be presented. 



theory-of mind, action research, intervention program



[1] Happé, F. G. (1994). An advanced test of theory of mind: Understanding of story characters' thoughts and feelings by able autistic, mentally handicapped, and normal children and adults. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 24(2), 129-154. doi:10.1007/BF02172093

[2] Metallidou, P., & Vlachou, A. (2010). Children's self‐regulated learning profile in language and mathematics: The role of task value beliefs. Psychology in the Schools, 47(8), 776-788.

[3] Misailidi, P. (2010). Children’s metacognition and theory of mind: Bridging the gap. Trends and prospects in metacognition research, 279-291.

[4] Osterhaus, C., Koerber, S., & Sodian, B. (2016). Scaling of advanced theory‐of‐mind tasks. Child development, 87(6), 1971-1991.

[5] Papaleontiou-Louca, E. (2008). Metacognition and theory of mind: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

[6] Zsigmond, I. (2015). Writing Strategies for Fostering Reading Comprehension. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 180, 1698-1703.


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