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Psychological Tools: A Sociocultural Approach to Education

reviewed by Guiseppe Mantovani - 2001

coverTitle: Psychological Tools: A Sociocultural Approach to Education
Author(s): Alex Kozulin
Publisher: Harvard University Press, Cambridge
ISBN: 0674721411 , Pages: 192 , Year: 1998
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In this engaging and highly readable work, the author refers to both the Vygostkian concept of "psychological tools" and the "mediated learning" approach of Reuven Feuerstein, an Israeli psychologist, to explain his working strategy as Research Director at the International Center for the Enhancement of Learning Potential (ICELP) in Jerusalem. ICELP organizes educational programs for recent Ethiopian immigrants to Israel, whose traditional learning styles, mainly oral and imitative, do not match the requirements of the Western-style classrooms that they are expected to attend in Israel. The theoretical core of the book is the distinction (or opposition) between "natural" and "cultural" psychological functions. We feel that this distinction, although founded on aspects of the Vygotskian legacy, may be misleading because it ignores the fact that both current cognitive science (Clancey, Greeno, Hutchins, Suchman) and educational research (Cole, Lave, Rogoff, Wenger) see all human experience as culturally mediated, so that there is no place for "natural", pre-cultural human experience. Section one, The Concept of Psychological Activity, provides an accurate presentation of Vygotsky’s... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 103 Number 1, 2001, p. 16-18
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10575, Date Accessed: 6/13/2021 7:58:42 PM

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About the Author
  • Guiseppe Mantovani
    University of Padova, Italy
    E-mail Author
    Giuseppe Mantovani is Professor of Psychology of Attitudes in the University of Padova, Italy. His scholarship addresses the cultural shaping of categorization, the mediational role of artifacts, and the internet and virtual reality as media. Recent books include: New Communication Environments. From Everyday to Virtual (Taylor & Francis, 1996) and Exploring Borders. Understanding Culture and Psychology (Routledge, 2000).
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