Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Sheila Walker

Reader 2

Stacey Wood

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Young children are still developing their theory of mind (ToM), the understanding that others have mental states such as desires, intentions, knowledge, beliefs, and perspectives. Growing ToM understanding comes with an increasing ability to communicate with others and to understand their actions as being driven by mental states. ToM concepts may therefore be a useful lens through which to teach collaboration in early childhood classrooms. The proposed study aims to assess the effects of a ToM-based collaboration intervention on kindergarten students’ collaboration. Kindergarten students (N = 75) will participate in either a ToM-based collaboration intervention, a non-ToM based collaboration intervention, or no intervention within their regular classrooms. The number of collaborative behaviors they display during a partner-based collaborative task will then be measured. It is hypothesized that children who have experienced the ToM-based collaboration intervention will demonstrate more collaborative behaviors than children who have experienced no intervention or a collaboration intervention grounded only in observable behaviors. Further, it is hypothesized that children who have experienced the ToM-based intervention will show a higher percentage of mind-centered collaborative behaviors, which are behaviors that require acknowledgement of others’ mental states. This research may have important implications for the teaching of collaboration in the early childhood classroom setting.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.