The Development of the Mediated Mind: Sociocultural Context and Cognitive Development

The Development of the Mediated Mind: Sociocultural Context and Cognitive Development

The Development of the Mediated Mind: Sociocultural Context and Cognitive Development

The Development of the Mediated Mind: Sociocultural Context and Cognitive Development

Synopsis

This is a festschrift for Katherine Nelson, an NYU professor who was a pioneer in infant perception and memory. The "mediated mind" is a term coined by Dr. Nelson and it refers to how cognitive development is mediated by the sociocultural context, including language and social interaction. The book should be of interest to cognitive development researchers and readers interested in new perspectives on the relation between mind and culture development.

Excerpt

Three years ago, when we heard that Katherine Nelson was retiring from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York after 25 years on the faculty, we knew we had to mark the occasion. Katherine is such a remarkable influence on all of our lives in so many ways. Obviously, no student of developmental psychology doubts the contribution of Katherine's work on our understanding of the cognitive development of children in social and cultural context. As students of Katherine's, we also acknowledge the influence of her personal mentoring on our individual professional and intellectual development. How best to provide the personal and professional thanks for Katherine's many contributions?

Our first thank you was a symposium at the 2001 meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In that symposium, the four of us presented papers outlining the ways in which our individual research has been and continues to be influenced by Katherine's theoretical work in language, concepts and memory. A more personal thank you followed during a party in Katherine's honor that we hosted at Patricia Bauer's home. This celebration was extremely well attended by Katherine's students and colleagues (we can attest to how much food and drink was consumed!). Many of Katherine's students came forward with poignant and funny stories of the ways in which Katherine has touched their lives.

Our second thank you was a special issue of the Journal of Cognition and Development in Katherine's honor. This was an extremely unusual honor, as the journal does not normally allow this type of special issue. Katherine, however, had been a founding member of the journal and had been the editor of Cognitive Development (the intellectual predecessor of the Journal of Cognition and Development) from 1990–1995. During Katherine's editorship the journal became the premier outlet for publishing innovative research in cognition and it's development.

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