How the Key-Challenge in Digital Education Is Not Primarily About Technology, but the Digital Scaffolding of Social Spaces and Self

Nao Picture Credit: Flickr/Stanford Center for Internet and Society, CC BY-NC-SA

Looking for a deeper understanding

The effect of digital media on learning is the pervasive power behind the current revolution in education. Ranging from Open Educational Resources (OER) to Blended Learning Models, media profoundly transform key topics of education. Subjects such as media literacy, media education, media pedagogy, the acquisition of digital competences, the digital divide, media socialization, and e-learning, among many others, dominate educational discourse worldwide. But can we find a deeper and more coherent philosophical understanding of the historical paradigm shift?

The digital-pedagogical imperative

Compared to traditional classrooms equipped with a chalkboard, printed geographical maps and textbooks, digital media allow for new ways of representation, interaction, knowledge-creation, and social situatedness. Teachers keep fading into the background as the sole source of information, and start assuming the role of information managers: it is not relevant what has been taught, what content got covered in class, but what has been learned and by whom. Digital media extend forms of expression, they encourage the active (re)production of knowledge and provide new ways of conceptualizing the Self and its positioning within the social world.

Soft-skills suddenly become more important than uninformed leadership as social networks provide support for personal growth and professional opportunities. Perhaps even more profoundly, digital culture challenges standardized assessments (the PISA studies as an example), which are still based on the assumption of homogenous learner populations, given a standard distribution. Although such assumptions of homogeneity may have been valid to some degree until the first half of the 20th century, educators today experience that this is not the case any more in diversifying pluralistic societies.

Still, few education providers realize how learning outcomes, learning methods as well as the roles of teachers and students become highly interconnected within the cultural paradigm shift. More complex learning outcomes, in particular in the field of personalized and collaborative learning (‚active learning‘), imply new roles of students and instructors. Student turn into junior researchers, lecturers turn into learning consultants and the school itself turns into a community of interconnected learners. Things couldn’t be more different from the past. Innovative methods of learning inevitably produce new types of desired outcomes, such as the development of soft-skills and context-independent problem-solving competencies, also known as transfer skills.

Once we realize the fundamental phenomenological, socio-cultural and economic shifts of the digital age, it becomes more apparent how media, as a merely technological construct, is of lesser interest to educators. The features of digital equipment are of superficial value. Of actual interest are the effects of media on learning processes, classroom interactions and the construction of learning environments, such as digital school development.  We may label this focus as the digital-pedagogical imperative. However, differently from traditional media such as books or blackboards, digital media require a minimum of technical skills and knowledge for their use. And prior to use, students require basic knowledge about the functionality of digital media inclusive of their social effects (such as e.g., decision-making processes via algorithms, machine learning affecting social actors or issues regarding data security). Hence, the call for digital competencies across the board of educational institutions.

Towards a social, rather than a technical perspective in media-supported education: The concept of hybrid space-time

For the field of education, the shift from a technology-centered towards a socially-centered perspective renders helpful for a number of reasons: Firstly, we keep the eyes on the prize, which is our educational mission and vision, regardless of technological trends. The question still remains how technology can serve achieving prime educational directives, such as the democratic development of society, to prepare school leavers adequately for a highly dynamic working environment and a journey of lifelong learning. Secondly, by taking a more social view, we are able to develop strategies to empower learners by structuring digital environments more systematically, determined by hybrid (socio-digital) space and time. The term shall be explained.

The central achievement of the network society, besides creating ‘spaces of flow’ (Castells, 1998) lies in connecting previously un- or barely related social spaces, to use Uri Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Theory, while widening our phenomenological consciousness technologically, to quote David Chalmer’s beautiful metaphor of the ‘Extended Mind’ (Chalmers, 1998). Chalmers promotes the idea that media, such as, e.g., smartphones, have already begun to function as an extension to our mind, allowing us to navigate and manage an increasingly complex world. Social perception, social connectedness, epistemology and mental spaces of actors have become increasingly interwoven with and by digital media.

The interconnectedness of digital spaces, however, requires the scaffolding of appropriate social norms and learning opportunities. There is little point of creating apps and platforms if people don’t use them effortlessly and productively in their lives. Each sphere of Bronfenbrenner’s Micro-, Meso-, Exo- and Macrosystems (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) calls for corresponding ‚digital scaffolding‘ in addition to face-to-face interactions. Analogous to Vygotsky’s concept of a Zone of Proximal Development, or ZPD (Vygotsky, 1980), each of Bronfenbrenner’s systems should support social actors with ample opportunities for navigating, developing, transforming, amending and reforming them and allowing for the creation of new spaces if necessary. Some examples of digital social spaces are e.g., learning management systems (LMS) for schools and colleges, professional social online networks or layers of E-Government. The development is still in its infant stages.

Digital structures as a means of social interaction emerge superimposed onto Bronfenbrenner’s system descriptions, but may not be congruent in cases where networks cross traditional boundaries, be it to link professions, cultures or government agencies. Digital networks serve social actors to navigate and negotiate their multi-facetted biographical learning journeys across social spaces, closing the conceptual gap between biographical timelines and digitally enabled social spaces. In an ideal case, as we progress along our biographical timeline, we learn how to widen and deepen our social systems – a process that is increasingly facilitated via digital media. Scaffolds can be defined as assisting concepts that help us grow into new social systems.

Honoring the theorists mentioned before, we may call these new learning scaffolds Bronfenbrenner-Chalmers-Vygotsky (BCV) spaces: Virtual spaces transcend physical spaces by extending the perspectives of social actors. The purpose of these spaces is to widen their options for scientific investigation, social networking, negotiation and co-creation.

Problem-solving requires s higher level of complexity than the problem at hand. On a global scale, there are no more easy problems.

Beyond academic interests, the latter idea of responsible co-creation has severe economic consequences, in particular on a limited planetary scale where the ecological and social costs of production and consumption have reached their critical limits and cannot be outsourced, or passed on, anymore. The educational lesson states that solving global and regional problems, especially those created by single-minded interest groups, can only be addressed successfully by higher-qualified, multi-disciplinary  teams capable of managing the complexity of issues at hand.

The underlying hypothesis could be formulated as follows: Problem-solving strategies demand a higher level of cognitive and metacognitive complexity than the grounds (causes and reasons) that have created the problem in the first place. Understanding a problems implies reframing it within its boundary conditions. Following the argument of rational problem solving (and sharing the assumption that this is what we are aiming for), the digital scaffolding of BVC-spaces evolves as a key-competence for future problem-solving. This means that in order to solve high-complexity problems, social actors require the skill to create hybrid spaces to accommodate their research, management, modes of interaction and policy development.

BVC

Illustration above (by the author): Hybrid space-time as the new medium in which education evolves – autobiographical trajectories, dynamic networks across social spaces and phenomenologies merge into multidimensional constructs

To this extent, it appears more sensible to conceptualize digital media within such an integrated, multidimensional framework, rather than sticking with a relatively simplified viewpoint that focuses reductively on technology and its apparent performative advantages or disadvantages, (e.g., the TPACK model). Naive and counterproductive-conservative approaches, such as Hattie’s promotion of ‘what works in the classroom’ (Hattie, 2010), advocate the regression to lower-complexity teacher-centered models. Besides paying homage to a bygone era of instructionalism, such approaches are bound to fail culturally. Traditional teachers are currently dethroned as sole providers of authoritative content by digital natives who migrate into parallel learning universes consisting of YouTube Videos, social networks and improvised peer instruction. In order to bring teachers back more meaningfully into the classroom as learning guides and consultants, constructivist pedagogical approaches, based on the integration of digital media and an active learning paradigm (see Gagnon & Collay, 2006 for a practical introduction), appear to offer a  more future-oriented outlook.

As a practical example, we could look e.g., at interactive whiteboards as either a fancy instrument that cements teacher-centered instruction or as an opportunity to create reflected discourse in class; or we may look at highly immersive technology such as VR and raise pedagogical questions about the quality and sustainability of invoked learning processes. The answer to the justification and evaluation of technology lies in its application effects, but not technology per se. Technology is only as good as the purpose that it serves and the objectives that it achieves.

Beyond wishlists of digital competencies: Looking for the missing link to digital resource planning

Educational competency wishlists are easy to compile. What is still missing in research is the missing link between physical planning and the virtual construction of education. Multi-factorial and highly dynamic learning environments require a new language, a new syntax in order to plan, implement, validate, optimize, develop and predict the efficacy of Blended Learning Models (see Garrison & Vaughan, 2013; Picciano et al., 2014). One notoriously under-rated factor in this context is the limited human and financial resources of education providers versus the increasingly complex demands posed by the digitization of education. OER need not only be shared but created, modified to suit target groups, peer-reviewed and adapted to work smoothly within a plethora of Blended Learning Scenarios. The additional work for employing digital media requires substantial financial investment, staff and time: Staff needs to be trained and diversified in employing media-supported pedagogical strategies, more flexible financing procedures for procuring digital media need to be developed, parents need to be informed about best media literacy practices for their children, students need to adapt to take more responsibility for their learning – it is a long  list of resource-intense challenges.

Canvas Joana Kompa

Screenshots above (by the author): Learning Management Systems, like here in Canvas LMS, allow for the more productive connection between students and lecturers. They also allow for deeper, meta-cognitive insights into one’s own learning processes as well as creating a more learner-friendly, fluid academic environment.

In this light, collectively shared resources influence the quality and scope of digital education, in particular for serving heteronomous student populations and their demand for personalized learning. As the planning of shared resources cannot be conceptualized independently from pedagogical strategies anymore, their interconnectedness poses an entirely new challenge to social innovators.


The author is working as a scientific consultant for digital education at the Carl von Ossietzky Universität in Germany. She is one of the founders of the Medienfaktur and member of the workgroup ‚The Digital Competence Framework for Educators‘ (DigCompEdu) of the EU-Commission.

Literature

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Castells, M. (1998). The Information Age. Economy, Society and Culture. Oxford; Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Chalmers, D. & Clark, A. (1998). The Extended Mind. Analysis 58.1, January 1998, pp. 7–19 Retrieved from https://icds.uoregon.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Clark-and-Chalmers-The-Extended-Mind.pdf

Gagnon, G. W., & Collay, M. (2006). Constructivist learning design: Key questions for teaching to standards. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press.

Garrison, D. R., & Vaughan, N. D. (2013). Blended learning in higher education: Framework, principles, and guidelines. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass.

Hattie, J. (2010). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London : Routledge

Picciano, A. G., Dziuban, C., & Graham, C. R. (2014). Blended learning: Research perspectives, volume 2.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1980). Mind in- society: The development of higher psychological processes. Harvard University Press.

Constructivism Today: How Should Students Learn?

nürnberger-trichterOur schools: Same old, same old

The most commonly voiced out critique against traditional rote learning is that it doesn’t deliver what it promises, this is that acquired knowledge fades fast and students start to forget mental content shortly after their exams. In this model, learning serves to achieve a good grade by internalising syllabus material as fast as possible, forgetting it as fast as possible and to move on to the next short-term goal. But even if students would fully remember the knowledge that they were presented in class, they could do very little with it – perhaps with the exception of impressing their peers in TV game shows and quizzes that test for the recall of isolated facts. Knowledge acquired by rote learning is internalised passively. It is neither actively acquired by the learner, which would entail intrinsic motivation, nor applied within a real-world (and not merely academic-hypothetical) context.

Above: Traditional German illustration of the ‘Nürnberger Trichter’ (‘The Funnel of Nürnberg’). The writing says ‘First dumb and stupid, now clever as Goethe, all of which has been achieved by the funnel’s power’.

How about intelligence?

According to Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence (Sternberg, 1985), the mere recall and modulation of fixed content circumvents various forms of intelligence, which are analytic intelligence (the ability to apply new knowledge to solve real-world problems), creative intelligence (the ability to create innovative and novel ways to solve problems and to design systems) and practical intelligence (the ability to make internal changes to adapt to new environmental conditions). As a result, students in traditional schools learn hard but remain incompetent. What is measured in most schools and colleges are not aspects of intelligence, but the individual ability to endure stress and anxiety, the level of supportive upbringing provided by parents and the ability to regurgitate and parrot the mental content set out by the school’s curricula. Within such settings, students are assessed as solitary actors in a rather mechanical manner, illustrated fittingly by the ‘Nürnberger Trichter’.

new jobs

Above: Courses advertised at Udacity. The digital economy requires proactive, self-directed and intrinsically motivated learners. From the perspective of emerging technologies, Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence celebrates a comeback.

It is not about how long we remember what we have learned

The primary goals of knowledge acquisition, however, are neither the long-term recall of mental content nor to become a tough solitary learner. Actual cognitive and metacognitive performance is demonstrated by students being able to create concepts and tools to solve problems, to design systems that help people improve their lives, to develop positive social relations with others and to strengthen their autonomy. These educational outcomes are rarely assessed in most institutions of Higher Learning but they are more commonly found in elite education. Elite learners know how to contextualise newly created concepts (such as e.g., in information technology, social sciences or engineering) and they are aware of underlying historical and cultural conditions that scaffold local social development.

helvetas

Above: Managing comprehensive project administration and supervision based on modern research and sustainable local development (picture: biodiversity project in Haiti by Helvetas, 2017)

As for most movements, constructivism has been developed by many contributors, notably by their founders Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. Piaget’s approach can be described as socio-interactional constructivism with emphasis on the individual learner, whereby Vygotsky’s approach can be described as a cultural-historical and activity-based constructivism with emphasis on the social scaffolding of learning via a ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (Vianna & Stetsenko, 2006). Both approaches share the assumption that knowledge and the meaning of knowledge are actively constructed in the learner’s mind, that learning evolves contextually and is facilitated by social interaction. The mind is not perceived as a passive container to accommodate fixed sets information and limited cognitive processing within the boundaries of these sets. Piaget was grounded in the biological imperative, set out by Darwin, of a child’s adaptation to the environment. Vygotsky, following Marxist philosophy, focussed on the collaborative and transformative nature of learning. His approach remains highly relevant in today’s digital economy and media society which is characterised by the omnipresence of collaborating teams, complex multi-layered project development, intelligent knowledge management and highly integrated network groups. Curiously enough, it is these cooperative competencies of 21st-century working environments that are barely taught, if at all, at schools.

As for most movements, constructivism has been developed by many contributors, notably by their founders Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. Piaget’s approach can be described as socio-interactional constructivism with emphasis on the individual learner, whereby Vygotsky’s approach can be described as a cultural-historical and activity-based constructivism with emphasis on the social scaffolding of learning via a ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (Vianna & Stetsenko, 2006). Both approaches share the assumption that knowledge and the meaning of knowledge are actively constructed in the learner’s mind, that learning evolves contextually and is facilitated by social interaction. The mind is not perceived as a passive container to accommodate fixed sets information and limited cognitive processing within the boundaries of these sets. Piaget was grounded in the biological imperative, set out by Darwin, of a child’s adaptation to the environment. Vygotsky, following Marxist philosophy, focussed on the collaborative and transformative nature of learning. His approach remains highly relevant in today’s digital economy and media society which is characterised by the omnipresence of collaborating teams, complex multi-layered project development, intelligent knowledge management and highly integrated network groups. Curiously enough, it is these cooperative competencies of 21st-century working environments that are barely taught, if at all, at schools.

How Design Thinking extends Constructivism

Although it is correct that context, learners’ self-regulation and social scaffolding play a central role in active learning, the success of achieving learning outcomes depends largely on achieving mastery in the construction, application and evaluation of cultural tools. In design education, tools are commonly known in association with software- and hardware tools (from silk-screens to 3D printers and visualisation software), but also as concept maps and design theories, such as ergonomics, human-centered design and social design.

Broadly defined, cultural tools are instruments of mind that encompass concepts, strategies, information collection and processing methodologies, culturally-mediated reflective and communicative practices as well as methods to relate inductive-empirical and deductive-theoretical inferences. Cultural tools are the means by which our lifeworld is designed and mediated. Cultural tools empower students to connect ideas with facts, to minimise the margin of error of empirical tools and to maximise the validity and relevance of theoretical concepts. Without the mastery of effective tools, teamwork and context awareness do not yield productive outcomes by themselves.

Design thinking is closely related to Problem-based Learning (PBL) as it consists of a series of logical steps to design products and services. These shared steps are (1) group setting, setting up a team, (2) problem definition and cooperative reframing of the problem if necessary, (3) the review of prior knowledge and hypothesis generation (for explaining phenomena) or setting goals and expectations (for creating designs and implementing interventions), (4) the identification of learning issues and gaps of knowledge (5) going through reiterative cycles of research and research review (inclusive of experimentation and creative exploration), (6) concluding solutions development, (7) final outcome presentation and (8) post-project assessment by the entire team. PBL, as well as Design Thinking, are grounded in procedural inquiry and follow best practices of empirical research. Solutions are developed in logical stages by a team and they are not arbitrarily assumed by a solipsistic learner following an elusive ‘model answer’ or ‘model solution’.

Tesla

Above: Modern production facilities like here at Tesla are a good example for the need of skilled and competent workers that can solve complex problems, such as to program and manage robots or track and diagnose anomalies within automated production processes.

On the point of mastering cultural tools, Howard Barrows noted that PBL has one root in the apprenticeship method whose roots go back to the dawn of history (Wee Keng Neo & Kek Yin Chyn, 2002) where learning by doing emerged within an intergenerational culture of mastery. Today, mastery is rooted in science, also referred to as learning science (Bransford, 2000) shifting the educational focus on the mastery of scientific methods in support of new and innovative ideas.

Another argument for a procedural approach to future education is that without explicit awareness of the in situ implementation of knowledge, corresponding responsibilities cannot be assigned in a meaningful manner. As we live in a highly complex and interconnected world where responsibilities dilute across chains of institutions and businesses, a central theme in Badura’s recent work on moral disengagement (Bandura, 2016), the need to design systems of responsibility and accountability reinforces the call for fundamental educational reforms. If students are not taught on how to build a better world at an early age, how can anyone expect sensible societal progress?

References

Bandura, A. (2016). Moral disengagement: How people do harm and live with themselves. New York: Worth Publishers, Macmillan Learning.

Bransford, J. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press.

Sternberg, R. J. (1985). Beyond IQ: A Triarchic Theory of Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Vivanna, E. & Stetsenko, A. (2006). Embracing History through Transforming It: Contrasting Pigetean versus Vygotskian (Activity) Theories of Learning and Development to Expand Constructivism within a Dialectical View of History. Theory of Psychology, Sage Publications.

Wee Keng Neo, L. & Kek Yin Chyn, M. (2002). Authentic problem-based learning: Rewriting business education. Singapore: Pearson Malaysia.

Language and Cognitive Development

children talkingIn his Tractus Logico Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein (Wittgenstein, 1998) coined the famous phrase ‘The limits of my language are the limits of my world’. It is because of language that we are consciousness of our inner and the outer world and that we are capable of symbolic interaction. Our ability to explain, predict and understand others’ mental states, feelings, wishes, intentions and behavior is known as the Theory of Mind (ToM). Language development and ToM are closely intertwined (Miller, 2006).

Language and Cognitive Development

Language development and its representational use starts for Piaget at the end of the sensorimotor stage at about 2 years of age (Piaget, 1962). Initial language egocentricity which uses imitation, private speech and modeling, proportionally decreases while language- and thought differentiation increases (JeongChul et al, 2011). The correct application of logic and mental operations is not achieved until the concrete operational stage at 7-11 years (Arnett, 2012, p.294) while problem-solving, abstraction and hypothetical reasoning do not appear until the formal operational stage at 11 years and above (Arnett, p.355). Piaget’s mechanistic concept of schemata-evolution by assimilation and accommodation does not sufficiently explain how language development evokes higher cognitive levels and it fails to explain individual developmental differences.

Rather than individual investigation Vygotsky focuses on the emergence of language and cognition through concrete social interaction (Vygotsky, 1986). Internalization of external dialogue morphs for the child into internal, subjective thought (Christy, 2013, p.201). Human cognition is socially constituted, first pre-linguistically and subsequently by language.    Vygotsky stresses the importance of joint attention which forms a central idea in the ToM. In the ToM the pre-verbal ability of an infant to focus on an object or a person is a prerequisite for learning the first words. The child’s ability of joint attention with caretakers via language at 18-20 months is a precursor to the ToM (Charman et al., 2000). Social interaction precedes language acquisition and scaffolds it. Cognitive development starts with employing verbs such as ‘need’ and ‘want’ at 2:4 as well as using mental state verbs such as ‘think’ , ‘believe’, ‘guess’ and ‘know’ at 2:7 (Bartsch & Wellman, 1995).

At 40 months a child engages in family talk about feelings and causation while cooperative verbal interactions with siblings occur at 33 months (Youngblade, 1991). From age 3 onwards children are able to use mental state terms with increasing confidence and can perform typical ToM tasks such as differentiating true from false beliefs, handle unexpected content or identify a toy’s change of location while testing memory and intentionality (Miller, p.150), equivalent to Piaget’s concept of object-permanence (Piaget, 1954). In late childhood and adolescence the use of language expands from constative and performative speech-acts to locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary acts (SEP, 2007), allowing for complex mental operations, advanced problem-solving skills and normative assessment within extended social ecologies.

The impact of multilingual development on cognitive development          

Bilingual upbringing is positively associated with increased attention-control, working memory, abstract and symbolic reasoning and metalinguistic awareness (Adesope et al., 2010). Early access to a second language, fostered by high significance- and participation levels in everyday communication, is positively related to taking over another person’s mentalistic perspective. Meristo and colleagues (Siegal et al, 2012) point out that for deaf children for example early bilingual upbringing (sign language and lip-reading) allows children to perform at similar levels as hearing comparison children which is not the case for monolingual and late-signing deaf children. The reasons for such benefits are attributed to the development of efficient executive controls; this is to be able to focus on one language while inhibiting another, overcoming the child’s own salient mental state (Bialystok, 2004). Bilingual children tend to score well in ToM-tasks that pose high inhibitory demands, ultimately contributing to high-level cognitive functioning (Kovács, 2007).

Siegal and colleagues argue that the more advanced capability of understanding the intentionality of other speakers subsequently encourages more cooperative behavior. This is assumed to lead to improved moral development pending further research (Siegal et al, 2012).

Conclusion               

In early cognitive-lingual development, semantics at age 3-5 predict significant variance in ToM-performance while syntax does not contribute to variance in belief or desire (Ruffman et al., 2003). In pretend-play, pragmatics, assuming different speaker roles and perspectives, play a vital part to cognitive development (Sawyer, 1993) suggesting that early cognitive-lingual development is driven primarily by semantics and pragmatics with syntax refining at a later age. Vygotsky’s visionary approach of understanding speech-acts in socio-cultural context provides the basis of today’s ToM.

References

Adesope, O. O., Lavin, T., Thompson, T., & Ungerleider, C. (2010). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the cognitive correlates of bilingualism. Review of Educational Research, 80(2), 207–245.

Arnett, J. J. (2012). Human development: A cultural approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Bartsch, K., & Wellman, H. (1995). Children talk about the mind. New York: Oxford University Press

Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I., Klein, R., & Viswanathan, M. (2004). Bilingualism, aging, and cognitive control: evidence from the Simon task. Psychology and Aging, 19, 290–303.

Charman, T., Baron-Cohen, S., Swettenham, J., Baird, G., Cox, A., & Drew, A. (2000). Testing joint attention, imitation, and play as infancy precursors to language and theory of mind. Cognitive Development, 15, 481–498

Christy, T. C. (2013). Vygotsky, cognitive development and language: New perspectives on the nature of grammaticalization. Historiographia Linguistica, 40(1-2), 199-227. doi:10.1075/hl.40.1-2.07chr

JeongChul, H., Sumi, H., Christopher, K., & Hasan, A. (2011). Piaget‟s Egocentrism and Language Learning: Language Egocentrism (LE) and Language Differentiation (LD). Journal Of Language Teaching And Research, (4), 733.

Kovács, Á. M. (2007). Beyond language: childhood bilingualism enhances high-level cognitive functions. In I. Kecskés & L. Albertazzi (eds), Bimultilingualism cognition (pp. 301–24). Netherlands: Springer Science.

Miller, C. A. (2006). Developmental Relationships Between Language and Theory of Mind. American Journal Of Speech-Language Pathology, 15(2), 142-154. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2006/014)

Piaget, J. (1954). The development of object concept. In The construction of reality in the child (pp. 3–96). New York: Basic Books

Piaget, J. (1962). The psychology of the child. New York: Basic Books.

Ruffman, T., Slade, L., Rowlandson, K., Rumsey, C., & Garnham, A. (2003). How language relates to belief, desire,and emotion understanding. Cognitive Development, 18, 139–158.

Sawyer, K. (1993). The Pragmatics of Play: Interactional Strategies during Children’s Pretend Play. Pragmatics: Quarterly Publication Of The International Pragmatics Association, 3(3), 259-282.

Siegal, M., & Surian, L. (2012). Access to language and cognitive development [electronic book] / [edited by] Michael Siegal, Luca Surian. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2012.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP).(2007). Speech Acts. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/speech-acts/

Vygotsky, L. (1986) Thought and Language. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Wittgenstein, L. (1998). Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Dover Publications

Youngblade, L. M., & Dunn, J. (1995). Individual differences in young children’s pretend play with mothers and siblings: Links to relationships and understanding of other people’s feelings and beliefs. Child Development, 66, 1472–1492.