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  Barbara Rogoff

Barbara Rogoff

UCSC Foundation Distinguished Professor


831-459-3519 (Fax)


Social Sciences Division

Psychology Department

UCSC Foundation Distinguished Professor


Latin American & Latino Studies
Education Department
Legal Studies

Regular Faculty

Social Sciences 2
Room 307

(Spring 2024) Mondays 1:30-2:30 pm - by appointment; Meeting ID: 956 0478 3760 Passcode: 604432

Psychology Faculty Services

Barbara Rogoff is UCSC Foundation Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California-Santa Cruz. She investigates cultural aspects of children’s learning and how communities arrange for learning, finding especially sophisticated collaboration and attention among children from Indigenous communities of the Americas. See Learning by Observing and Pitching In to family and community endeavors (LOPI)

Rogoff received a Distinguished Lifetime Contributions Award (Society for Research in Child Development) and the Chemers Award for Outstanding Research (UCSC). 

She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Education, American Anthropological Association, Association for Psychological Sciences, American Psychological Association, and American Educational Research Association. She has held the University of California Presidential Chair and Fellowships of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Kellogg Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and the Exploratorium, and served as Editor of Human Development.

Barbara Rogoff investigates cultural variation in children's learning processes and how communities organize opportunities to learn in everyday life, with special interest in Mexican and Indigenous-heritage communities of the Americas. 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.

See also Learning by Observing and Pitching In to family and community endeavors (LOPI)

Barbara Rogoff's book Developing Destinies: A Mayan Midwife and Town examines the relation of individuals and communities across their histories. It focuses on changes and continuities in the lives of children and families in a Guatemalan Mayan community, through the life of a Mayan woman born to be a midwife. Oxford University Press, 2011.  Rogoff's earnings on this book are donated to the learning center in this Mayan town.

Developing Destinies: A Mayan Midwife and Town (Oxford University Press, 2011)

The Cultural Nature of Human Development (Oxford University Press, 2003)

Learning Together: Children and Adults in a School Community (Oxford University Press, 2001) Rogoff, B., Goodman Turkanis, C., and Bartlett, L. (Eds.).

Rogoff, B., Alcalá, L., Coppens, A.D., López, A., Ruvalcaba, O., & Silva, K.G. (2014) (Guest Eds.), Learning by Observing and Pitching In to family and community endeavors. Special Issue, Human Development, 57.

Correa-Chávez, M., Mejía-Arauz, R., & Rogoff, B. (2015). (Editors.) Children learn by observing and contributing to family and community endeavors: A cultural paradigm.  In Advances in Child Development and Behavior, Vol. 49.


Rosado-May, F.J., Urrieta, L. Jr., Dayton, A., & Rogoff, B. (2020). Innovation as a key feature of Indigenous ways of learning: Individuals and communities generating knowledge. In N.S. Nasir, C.D. Lee, R. Pea, & M. McKinney de Royston (Eds.), Handbook of the cultural foundations of learning.  NY: Routledge.

Silva, K.G., & Rogoff, B. (2020). Instructional ribbing as a cultural practice for guiding children.  Human Development, 64, 172-190.

Henne-Ochoa, R., Elliott-Groves, E., Meek, B.A., & Rogoff, B. (2020). Pathways forward for Indigenous language reclamation: Engaging Indigenous epistemology and Learning by Observing and Pitching In to family and community endeavors. The Modern Language Journal, 104, 481-493.

Mejía Arauz, R., Dexter, A.L.D., Rogoff, B., & Aceves-Azuara, I. (2019). Children’s management of attention as cultural practice. In T. Tulviste, D.L. Best, & J.L. Gibbons (Eds.), Children’s social worlds in cultural context (pp. 23-39). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Alcalá, L., Rogoff, B., & López Fraire, A. (2018). Sophisticated collaboration is common among Mexican-heritage US children.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 11377-11384.

Rogoff, B., Dahl, A., & Callanan, M. (2018). The importance of understanding children’s lived experience.  Developmental Review50, 5-15.

Mejía-Arauz, R., Rogoff, B., Dayton, A., & Henne-Ochoa, R. (2018). Collaboration or negotiation: Two ways of interacting suggest how shared thinking develops.  Current Opinion in Psychology, 23, 117-123.

Rogoff, B., Coppens, A., Alcalá, L., Aceves-Azuara, I., Ruvalcaba, O., López, A., & Dayton, A. (2017). Noticing learners’ strengths through cultural research. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12, 876-888. 

Coppens, A. D., Alcalá, L., Rogoff, B., & Mejía-Arauz, R. (2016). Children's contributions in family work: Two cultural paradigms. In S. Punch, R. M. Vanderbeck, & T. Skelton (Eds.), Families, intergenerationality, and peer group relations, In Geographies of children and young people Major Reference Work, Vol. 5, pp. 1-27. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.

Rogoff, B., Callanan, M., Gutiérrez, K.D., & Erickson, F. (2016). The organization of informal learning. Review of Research in Education, 40, 356-401.  

Rogoff, B. (2016). Culture and participation: A paradigm shift.  Current Opinion in Psychology, 8, 182-189.

Dayton, A., & Rogoff, B. (2016).  Paradigms in arranging for children’s learning. In D.S. Guimarães (Ed.), Amerindian paths: Guiding dialogues with psychology.  Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

López, A., Ruvalcaba, O., & Rogoff, B. (2015). Attentive helping as a cultural practice of Mexican-heritage families. In Y.M. Caldera & E.W. Lindsey (Eds.), Mexican American children and families. (pp. 76-91). NY: Routledge.

Rogoff, B., Mejía-Arauz, R., & Correa-Chávez, M. (2015). A cultural paradigm — Learning by Observing and Pitching In. In M. Correa-Chávez, R. Mejía-Arauz, & B. Rogoff (Eds.), Children learn by observing and contributing to family and community endeavors: A cultural paradigm.  In Advances in Child Development and Behavior, Vol. 49, pp. 1-22.

Ruvalcaba, O., Rogoff, B., López, A., Correa-Chávez, M., & Gutiérrez, K. (2015). Children’s avoidance of interrupting others’ activities in requesting help: Cultural aspects of considerateness. In M. Correa-Chávez, R. Mejía-Arauz, & B. Rogoff (Eds.), Children learn by observing and contributing to family and community endeavors: A cultural paradigm.  In Advances in Child Development and Behavior, Vol. 49, pp. 185-205.

Silva, K.G., Shimpi, P.M., & Rogoff, B. (2015). Young children’s attention to what’s going on: Cultural differences. In M. Correa-Chávez, R. Mejía-Arauz, & B. Rogoff (Eds.), Children learn by observing and contributing to family and community endeavors: A cultural paradigm.  In Advances in Child Development and Behavior, Vol. 49, pp. 207-227.

Rogoff, B., Correa-Chávez, M., & Silva, K.G. (2015).  Cultural variation in children’s attention and learning.  In M.A. Gernsbacher & J.R. Pomerantz (Eds.), Psychology and the real world.  NY: Worth. Revised for Second edition.

Rogoff, B. (2014).  Learning by Observing and Pitching In to family and community endeavors: An orientation. Human Development, 57, 69-81.

Rogoff, B., Najafi, B., & Mejía-Arauz, R. (2014). Constellations of cultural practices across generations: Indigenous American heritage and Learning by Observing and Pitching In. Human Development, 57, 82-95.

Alcalá, L., Rogoff, B., Mejía-Arauz, R., Coppens, A.,D. & Dexter, A.L.  (2014). Children’s initiative in contributions to family work in Indigenous-heritage and Cosmopolitan communities in Mexico. Human Development, 57, 96-115.

Coppens, A.D., Alcalá, L., Mejía-Arauz, R., & Rogoff, B. (2014). Children’s initiative in family household work in Mexico. Human Development, 57, 116-130.

Paradise, R., Mejía-Arauz, R., Silva, K.G., Dexter, A.L., & Rogoff, B. (2014).  One, two, three, Eyes on me! Adults attempting control versus guiding in support of initiative. Human Development, 57, 131-149.

Coppens, A.D., Silva, K.G., Ruvalcaba, O., Alcalá, L., López, A., & Rogoff, B. (2014). Learning by Observing and Pitching In: Benefits and processes of expanding repertoires.  Human Development, 57, 150-161.

Rogoff, B., Moore, L., Correa-Chávez,  M., & Dexter, A. (2014). Children develop cultural repertoires through engaging in everyday routines and practices.  In J. E. Grusec & P. D. Hastings (Eds.), Handbook of socialization.  (2nd Ed, pp. 472-498).  NY: Guilford.

Dayton, A., & Rogoff, B. (2013).  ‘On being indigenous’ as a process.  Human Development, 56, 106-112.

Tsethlikai, M., & Rogoff, B. (2013). Involvement in traditional cultural practices and American Indian children’s incidental recall of a folktale. Developmental Psychology, 49, 568-578.

Rogoff, B. (2012). Learning without lessons: Opportunities to expand knowledge. Infancia y Aprendizaje, 35, 233-252.

         [Spanish translation] Aprender sin lecciones: Oportunidades para expandir el conocimiento. Infancia y Aprendizaje, 35, 242-252.

Mejia-Arauz, R., Roberts, A.D., & Rogoff, B. (2012). Cultural variation in balance of nonverbal conversation and talk. International Perspectives in Psychology, 1, 207-220.

Paradise, R., & Rogoff, B. (2009). Side by side: Learning by observing and pitching in. Ethos, 37(1), 102-138.

Correa-Chávez, M., & Rogoff, B. (2009). Children’s attention to interactions directed to others: Guatemalan Mayan and European American patterns. Developmental Psychology, 45(3), 630-641.

The power of contributing to a community in motivating learning, especially among students from communities that are underserved in schools.  Our 3min research video took 2 awards in NSF’s 2021 Video Showcase, in the Public Choice and the Most Discussed categories.     

How Indigenous and Mexican-heritage families foster children's contributions at home and help them learn to collaborate.  This 3min research video won the Public Choice award and was second Most Discussed, in NSF's 2020 video contest.     

The impressive ways that Mexican-heritage children collaborated in a planning task and programming a computer game.  Our 3min video won awards in all 4 categories in NSF's 2019 video contest — most discussed, public choice, presenter choice, and facilitator choice!     

Learning by Helping shows the helpfulness of Mexican-heritage children whose families don’t have much schooling. Our 3min video won #3 in NSF's 2018 Public Choice voting and was the second-most discussed video. 

Sophisticated collaboration of Mexican-heritage and Indigenous American children. This 3min video was voted #2 out of 171 videos in NSF’s 2017 Video Showcase, and was also the second-most discussed video. 

Learning by Observing- 3min video draws attention to strengths for learning among Indigenous and Mexican-heritage children. It was honored as the top public vote-getter and a top conversation-generator, in NSF's 2016 Video Showcase.  

Developing Destinies 6-min video about culture and individual development 

Developing Destinies Facebook page with photos and paintings 

TEDx talk about learning to collaborate (8 min)


Children from 'underserved' backgrounds have strengths for learning. ED-Talk for Centennial of the American Educational Research Association.


Psych 114: Culture and Human Development
Psych 119A: Development as a Sociocultural Process
Psych 290B: Advanced Developmental Research and Writing

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