This interdisciplinary work presents an integration of theory and research on how children develop their thinking as they participate in cultural activity with the guidance and challenge of their caregivers and other companions. The author, a leading developmental psychologist, views development as an apprenticeship in which children engage in the use of intellectual tools in societally structured activities with parents, other adults, and children. The author has gathered evidence from various disciplines--cognitive, developmental, and cultural psychology; anthropology; infancy studies; and communication research--furnishing a coherent and broadly based account of cognitive development in its sociocultural context. This work examines the mutual roles of the individual and the sociocultural world, and the culturally based processes by which children appropriate and extend skill and understanding from their involvement in shared thinking with other people. The book is written in a lively and engaging style and is supplemented by photographs and original illustrations by the author.