Recent studies of apprenticeship and learning provide a framework for under
standing how the social contexts of learning affect the material outcome of
the learning process among potters. Using methods derived from educational
psychology to examine prehispanic pottery made and painted by unskilled po
tters from the American Southwest, it is possible to evaluate cognitive mat
urity and motor skills. Comparisons of two culture areas indicate differenc
es among Southwestern populations in teaching frameworks and how children w
ere incorporated into craft production.