Research Interests

Development of Children & Youth
Science & Mathematics
Technology in Teaching and Learning

John Fredericksen

Dr. Frederiksen's interests are broadly concerned with the application of the cognitive sciences to learning and instruction within classroom settings.  His background in cognitive science encompasses work in experimental cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, and educational measurement.  In his research, he has sought to apply computer and video technologies in developing collaborative learning environments and educational assessment practices that will foster improvements in learning and teaching.  His recent work focuses on how elementary and middle school students can develop an understanding of scientific inquiry processes and apply this knowledge in creating models of scientific phenomena.  In this context, he is carrying out a longitudinal study of how developing students' inquiry skills may enhance their learning across the middle school curriculum. His research on assessment focuses on both teachers and students.

He has studied how teachers' use of video portfolios for assessing teaching may support their inquiry into effective teaching practices, and how students' peer and self assessments of their inquiry processes facilitates their learning. He has also investigated how assessments of scientific inquiry may be incorporated into large-scale science assessments.  He has also been interested in students' understanding of physical theories (particularly of electricity) and, within this domain, he has developed intelligent computer-based learning environments for understanding basic circuit theory. His interests in cognitive science and instruction have not been limited to science education. In earlier work, he created computer-based learning environments for developing reading skills of bilingual students and students with reading disabilities.  These instructional systems were based on his experimental analyses of the components of reading skill.  In all of his research, he applies cognitive theories to educational practice, and uses evaluations of learning and instructional processes to illuminate further development of cognitive theory.

Ph. D. 1966 (Psychology), Princeton University
B. A. 1963 (Psychology, magna cum laude), Harvard University

Frederiksen, J. R., & White, B. Y. (2002). Conceptualizing and constructing linked models: Creating coherence in complex knowledge systems. In P. Brna, M. Baker, K. Stenning and A. Tiberghien (Eds.), The Role of Communication in Learning to Model. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 69-96.

Frederiksen, J. R. (2002). Issues for the design of educational assessment systems. Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives, 1.

White, B., & Frederiksen, J. (2000). Metacognitive facilitation: An approach to making scientific inquiry accessible to all. In J. Minstrell and E. van Zee (Eds.). Inquiring into Inquiry Learning and Teaching in Science. (pp. 331-370). Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Frederiksen, J. R., White, B. Y., & Gutwill, J. (1999). Dynamic mental models in learning science: The importance of constructing derivational linkages among models. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(7), 806-836.

Frederiksen, J. R., Sipusic, M., Sherin, M., and Wolfe, E. (1998). Video portfolio assessment: Creating a framework for viewing the functions of teaching. Educational Assessment, 5(4), 225-297.

Frederiksen, J. R., & White, B. (1998). Teaching and learning generic modeling and reasoning skills. Journal of Interactive Learning Environments, 5(1), 33-52.

White, B., & Frederiksen, J. (1998). Inquiry, modeling, and metacognition: Making science accessible to all students. Cognition and Instruction, 16(1), 3-118.