James Pellegrino
University of Illinois at Chicago
Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Education

Year Elected


Membership status

James W. Pellegrino is Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as co-director of UIC's interdisciplinary Learning Sciences Research Institute. From 1973-1979 he was Professor of Psychology and a Research Associate of the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center. From 1979-1989 he was Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of California at Santa Barbara where he also served as Chair of the Department of Education from 1987-1989. From 1989-2001 he was the Frank W. Mayborn Professor of Cognitive Studies at Vanderbilt University where he also served as co-director of the Learning Technology Center from 1989-1991 and as Dean of Vanderbilt's Peabody College of Education and Human Development from 1992-1998. Dr. Pellegrino's research and development interests focus on children's and adult's thinking and learning and the implications of cognitive research and theory for assessment and instructional practice. Much of his current work is focused on analyses of complex learning and instructional environments, including those incorporating powerful information technology tools, with the goal of better understanding the nature of student learning and the conditions that enhance deep understanding. A special concern of his research is the incorporation of effective formative assessment practices, assisted by technology, to maximize student learning and understanding. Dr. Pellegrino has served as head of several National Academy of Science/National Research Council study committees. These include chair of the Study Committee for the Evaluation of the National and State Assessments of Educational Progress, co-chair of the NRC/NAS Study Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice, and co-chair of the NRC/NAS Study Committee on the Foundations of Assessment which issued the report Knowing What Students Know: The Science and Design of Educational Assessment. He chaired the recent NRC/NAS Study Committee on Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills and currently co-chairs the NRC/NAS Study Committee on Developing Assessments of Science Proficiency in K-12. He was a member of the NRC/NAS/NAE Study Committee on Improving Learning with Information Technology and chaired the NRC/NAS Panel on Research on Learning and Instruction for the Strategic Education Research Partnership. He served as a member of the NRC/NAS Study Committee on Test Design for K-12 Science Achievement, the NRC/NAS Study Committee on Science Learning: Games, Simulations and Education, and the NRC/NAS Study Committee on Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards. He is a Fellow of AERA, a lifetime National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences and a past member of the Board on Testing and Assessment of the National Research Council. Dr. Pellegrino has supervised several large-scale research and development projects funded by agencies such as NSF, USDOE, IES, ONR, AFOSR, NIH, and private foundations. He has authored or co-authored over 275 books, chapters, journal articles, and reports in the areas of cognition, instruction and assessment and has made numerous invited presentations at local, state, national and international meetings and at universities throughout the world.

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