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Roy Pea, 2022 Prize Winner

Learning Science Research
David Jacks Professor of Education & Learning Sciences at Stanford University, School of Education, and Computer Science (Courtesy)

A pioneer in learning sciences research, Roy Pea has been instrumental in pulling back the curtain on how and why people learn. Throughout his career he has used these insights to develop practical tools and techniques, theoretical principles, and researcher and educator training programs and partnerships to enhance learning for people of all backgrounds and circumstances. The spirit of innovation, impact, and leadership that the McGraw Prize celebrates is a throughline in Pea’s unparalleled body of work. At Stanford University, Pea has been Director of the H-STAR Institute (Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research), and Co-Director and Co-PI (Principal-Investigator) of the NSF-funded LIFE Center (Learning in Informal and Formal Environments), which develops and tests principles of the social foundations of human learning with the goal of enhancing human learning from infancy to adulthood. Initially interested in child language and cognitive development, he later turned to understanding how innovations in computing and communications technology influence learning, thinking, collaboration, and educational systems. His early work examined whether programming increased problem-solving skills. He then introduced the idea of distributed intelligence, clarified the notion of scaffolding, and developed visualization technologies. Pea’s impact is vast. He has built training programs at universities in learning technology and design, created research partnerships, and developed professional development programs for teachers and K-12 learning technologies. From 2004 to 2005, he was President of the International Society for the Learning Sciences. Pea is co-editor of Learning Analytics in Education (2018), co-editor of Video Research in the Learning Sciences (2007), and co-author of the National Academy of Sciences book How People Learn (2000). He is co-author of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan for the U.S. Department of Education. The first in his family to attend college, Pea is a testament to the role of education to elevate human potential.