Dr. David Klahr is the Walter van Dyke Bingham Professor of Cognitive Development and Education Sciences in the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also the Training Director of the Program in Interdisciplinary Education Research and is on the Executive Committee and is the Education Director for the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center. After completing his undergraduate at MIT, he worked for a few years before returning to graduate school, receiving his Masters Degree from the Carnegie Institute of Technology and his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Klahr served briefly on the faculty of the University of Chicago, before joining the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University where he remains today. David has received many awards and honors during his career. He is a member of the National Academy of Education, an Inaugural Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, a Fellow of both the Developmental and Experimental Divisions of the American Psychological Association, and also a Founding Fellow of the American Psychological Society. David is here with us today to tell us about his journey through life and science.
Over the course of his career, David Klahr has investigated complex cognitive processes in such diverse areas as voting behavior, college admissions, consumer choice, peer review, problem solving and scientific reasoning. He pioneered the application of computational modeling to questions of cognitive development. His more recent research focuses on the cognitive processes that support children’s scientific thinking. This work includes both basic research with pre-school children and more applied classroom studies of how to improve the teaching of experimental science in elementary school and how to rigorously assess the relative effectiveness of different teaching methods. In addition, he is on the Executive Committee of the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (PSLC) where he serves as the Education Director. Klahr’s scientific publications include, in addition to nearly 100 journal articles and several books, Exploring Science (MIT Press, 2000) and Cognition and Instruction: 25 Years of Progress (co-Edited, with Sharon Carver, Erlbaum, 2001).
None of this would have been possible without the early guidance of strong mentors, the collaboration and inspiration of a long line of talented and creative students and post-docs, a stimulating collection of faculty colleagues, a dedicated staff, a facilitative and dynamic organizational and institutional context, and the love, support, and encouragement of his wife Pam, his children, Anna, Joshua, Sophia, and Benjamin, and his extended family.