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Barbara Rogoff is an educator whose interests lie in understanding and communicating the different learning thrusts between cultures, especially within her book The Cultural Nature of Human Development (2003). Her work bridges psychology with anthropology, drawing on Vygotsky. She holds the University of California Presidential Chair as a professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz. She graduated from Pomona College and Harvard University.
Rogoff investigates cultural variation in learning processes and settings, with special interest in communities where schooling has not been prevalent. She is particularly interested in cultural aspects of collaboration, learning through observation, children's interest and keen attention to ongoing events, roles of adults as guides or as instructors, and children's opportunities to participate in cultural activities or in age-specific child-focused settings. She graduated from Pomona College in 1971, majoring in Psychology. She later earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Rogoff's book, Learning Together: Children and Adults in a School Community, co-authored with teachers Carolyn Turkanis and Leslee Bartlett, profiled Salt Lake City's "Open Classroom," a parent-cooperative education program that is now a K-8 charter school.
Rogoff also wrote a chapter in the edited Handbook of Child Psychology. Her chapter was entitled Cognition as a Collaborative Process. In it, she discusses Constructivist theorist Piaget and Sociocultural theorist Vygotsky in relation to collaboration, the role of adult experts in the process of learning, peer interaction and community collaborative sociocultural activities.
Most recently, Rogoff wrote Developing Destinies: A Mayan Midwife and Town. This book not only outlines how cultural practices guide one's participation, but how community members choose and change cultural practices.