Investigating the development of young children’s social learning

This project aims to understand the cognitive processes that happen when young children learn from others. Results and findings will be used to identify novel teaching and learning practices in order to optimise effective learning methods in educational settings.

Investigating the development of young children’s social learning


Dr Emma Tecwyn and a team of undergraduate research assistants. 

Research background 

The project will involve conducting an experimental study investigating young children’s social-cognitive development, and building a new partnership between BCU-Psychology and ThinkTank science museum.

Research aims 

The aim of the research is to expand our understanding of the cognitive mechanisms underpinning how young children learn from other people. Enhancing our knowledge of young children’s learning could potentially inform the development of novel teaching and learning techniques for children of different ages. In addition to collecting data for this project at ThinkTank, Dr Tecwyn will also participate in the museum’s ‘Meet the Expert’ programme, which provides the opportunity for visitors to engage with professionals who work in STEM. Undergraduate research assistants will play a crucial in this project, and will gain experience of the research process, as well as developing "hard" (e.g., video coding, data handling) and "soft" (e.g., communication, outreach) skills that will be valuable to potential employers.

Research methods

Data collection for the project will begin in February 2020 at ThinkTank and will involve an experimental study with two to five-year-old children that measure their copying behaviour and ability to take other people’s perspective. Of interest is whether these two things are related.