Cultural tools, when learned, become cognitive tools

I am really enjoying Kieran Egan’s Imaginative Approach to Teaching. He writes:

Cultural tools, when learned, become cognitive tools. [-p.8]5
Someone invented a counting system, creating another addition to our cultural tool kit. An individual who learns that counting system acquires a personal cognitive tool. Vygotsky described an array of such tools: language, numbering and counting systems, mnemonic techniques, algebraic symbols, works of art, writing, and the like. When we imagine these things as an accumulated storehouse of human accomplishments, inventions, or discoveries, we refer to it as our culture. Each of the elements of our culture can be internalized, in varying ways and to varying degrees, by individuals. From the storehouse of cultural tools we can select and construct our individual kits of cognitive tools. This imaginative approach to education [explained in this book] aims to maximize for students the array of important cultural tools that they each convert into their own cognitive tools.” (pp.7-8)

Ref: (emphases in blue bold mine) Kieran Egan (c2005) An Imaginative Approach to Teaching. Jossey-Bass: San Fransisco

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About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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