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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
November 2023
Print publication year:
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Book description

Drawing attention to the pivotal ideas associated with 'the science of the cultural mind', this book centres on the idea that the human mind should be considered a sociocultural, rather than a natural or biological, phenomenon. Far from being purely theoretical, the science of the cultural mind has direct, practical implications for areas such as child development, the assessment of learning processes, and future-oriented education. The chapters are organized around five pivotal ideas and their applications, including mediated learning, symbolic tools, and leading activity. It also provides a systematic review of the Vygotskian theory and its contemporary implications in cognitive development. Written in an accessible and engaging style, this book contains examples of practical applications of the sociocultural theory of learning that will benefit students, researchers, and practitioners in child development, educational psychology, culture studies, and education.


‘A landmark work that, for the first time, comprehensively presents the sociocultural approach to learning and synthesizes compelling evidence for it as key to optimizing education and human development in contemporary times. Alex Kozulin persuasively argues for a transformation in current educational practice as an urgent priority, from transmission of static knowledge and skills to ‘learning how to learn’. Beyond that, this text is unique in clarifying the theoretical ideas and evidence-based teaching and assessment strategies essential for attaining this goal. Masterfully crafted, rich in research findings and practical examples, this book is an essential read for researchers and educators alike. A wonderful volume by a leading sociocultural theorist, investigator, and talented author that promises to have a major impact for years to come.’

Laura E. Berk - Distinguished Professor of Psychology Emerita, Illinois State University

‘The originality of Alex Kozulin’s new book relates to the fact that the sociocultural theory is presented as a set of interconnected key concepts. Each concept, in turn, is discussed in its development from the original idea to its further elaboration and practical implementation.’

Yuriy Karpov - Professor of Psychology and Education, Touro University

‘Written by a renowned authority on Vygotsky’s account of consciousness and its development, this latest work offers both an accessible synthesis of the theory’s central principles and an illustration of their relevance to education, with examples from diverse populations and across academic disciplines. A must-read!’

Matthew E. Poehner - Professor of Education and Applied Linguistics, Pennsylvania State University

‘Alex Kozulin is one of the pioneers of Vygotsky Studies as a translator and the author of the first whole-book intellectual biography of Lev Vygotsky. In his new book, Kozulin presents a creative ‘reconstruction’ of classical Vygotskian legacy, enhanced and rethought in the tradition of Reuven Feuerstein, and produces an exciting new synthesis in educational theory and practice for the 21st century.’

Anton Yasnitsky - author of Vygotsky: An Intellectual Biography

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