Understanding the nature of teaching and learning is vital for self-regulated learners (Frye & Wang, 2008). Children’s understanding of teaching and learning goes through a transformation during early years: preschoolers often see teaching and learning as doing without mental involvement; only with the acquisition of theory of mind, the ability to make mental state reasoning, do children start to comprehend that teaching and learning are mental activities that involve intention and knowledge change, and become mindful learners. To help understand this developmental path, we investigated children’s understanding of mindful learning using Rasch modeling. Sixteen short stories were drawn from previous studies (Frye & Ziv, 2005; Wang, 2010; Ziv & Frye, 2004) to assess children’s understating of intention and knowledge change in teaching and learning. Ninety-seven children from an east coastal U.S. city participated in this study, with mean age of 61.8 months. All children finished a theory of mind scale (ToM), a receptive language ability test (PPVT), an expressive language ability test (EVT), and the 16-item mindful learning scale. Rasch modeling of the mindful learning scale found that all items fit the scale well with fit statistics within -2 to +2. The item difficulty levels confirmed the theoretical prediction of the difficulty sequence. Suggestions are made based on the Rasch modeling on selecting items from the 16 stories to form a usable mindful learning scale for researchers and educators alike to measure children’s developmental level. The relation among children’s theory of mind ability, language ability, and mindful learning is discussed.
|Publication status||Published - 2011|