Douglas Medin Named to National Academy of Education

Douglas Medin Named to National Academy of Education

Douglas Medin

Learning Sciences professor Douglas Medin was elected to membership in the National Academy of Education (NAEd) because of his pioneering efforts in education research and policy development. The National Academy of Education, a prestigious organization limited to 200 U.S. members, is dedicated to advancing high-quality education research and its use in policy formation.

“The newly elected members are preeminent leaders in their respective areas of educational research, and they are recognized for the extraordinary impact that they have had on education in the U.S. and abroad,” said NAEd president Susan Fuhrman, a SESP alumna. Nominations are submitted by individual members once a year for review and election by the entire membership. 

Medin is the Louis W. Menk Professor of Psychology and holds a joint appointment in the School of Education and Social Policy. He is best known for his research on concepts and categorization, and his research interests have recently extended to cross-cultural studies of biological categorization and reasoning, cultural and cognitive dimensions of moral reasoning and decision making, and culturally and community-based science education. This latter work has been conducted in the form of a partnership involving the American Indian Center of Chicago, the Menominee tribe of Wisconsin and Northwestern University. He has conducted research on cognition and learning among both indigenous and majority culture populations in Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico and the United States. Recently he served on the National Research Council committee on Informal Science Learning.

He is a recipient of an American Psychological Association Presidential Citation and the APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Medin was the recipient of a James McKeen Cattell Sabbatical Fellowship Award for the 2010-11 academic year.

In addition to Medin, the other four scholars who became members of NAEd in 2012 are Thomas R. Bailey, Teachers College, Columbia University; Sharon Lynn Kagan, Teachers College, Columbia University; Gavriel Salomon, University of Haifa; and Diana T. Slaughter-Defoe, University of Pennsylvania. Slaughter-Defoe was a member of the SESP human development and social policy faculty for much of her career before her departure in 1998.

Founded in 1965, the NAEd consists of U.S. members and foreign associates who are elected on the basis of outstanding scholarship related to education. Along with serving on expert study panels that address pressing issues in education, NAEd members are also engaged in professional development programs such as the NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and the NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Program.

School of Education and Social Policy professors who are current members of the National Academy of Education are Larry Hedges, Carol Lee, Penelope Peterson and Allan Collins.

By Marilyn Sherman and National Academy of Education
Last Modified: 4/26/12