Theory of mind and reading: qualitative study in early childhood education

Abstract Considering the interfaces between theory of mind and language and the benefits of mediated reading for children’s sociocognitive development, the qualitative aspect of a broader study of mind theory is presented, which, in a complementary way, investigated the experiences experienced by preschool children in relation to the reading activity in the family and school context. The participants were 178 children and 17 teachers from public and private early childhood schools. The children answered a questionnaire that sought to evaluate the family context of the daily reading activities and the teachers were interviewed to evaluate the conceptions and practices about the reading activities in the classroom, and the reports were submitted to content analysis. The results indicate that both the family reading context and the school context are potentially favorable contexts for sociocognitive development and tend to contribute to the improvement of children’s understanding of mental states.