The concept of "psychological tools" is a cornerstone of L.S. Vygotsky's sociocultural theory of cognitive development. Psychological tools are the symbolic cultural artifacts - signs, symbols, text, formulae and language - that enables people to master psychological functions such as memory, perception, and attention. This text argues that the concept offers a way to analyze cross-cultural differences in thought and to develop practical strategies for educating immigrant children from widely different cultures. Alex Kozulin offers an overview of Vygotsky's theory, which argues that conciousness arises from communication as civilization transforms "natural" psychological functions into "cultural" ones. He compares sociocultural theory to other innovative approaches to learning.