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Allan M. Collins

Allan M. Collins

  • Professor Emeritus, Learning Sciences

Academic Area

Learning Sciences

Research Interests

Technology and education, teaching and learning, scientific inquiry.


 Allan Collins is Professor Emeritus of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the Cognitive Science Society, the American Educational Research Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He served as a founding editor of the journal Cognitive Science and as first chair of the Cognitive Science Society. He has studied teaching and learning for over 30 years, and written extensively on related topics. He is best known in psychology for his work on how people answer questions, in artificial intelligence for his work on reasoning and intelligent tutoring systems, and in education for his work on situated learning, inquiry teaching, design research, and cognitive apprenticeship. From 1991 to 1994 he was co-director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Technology in Education. His book with Richard Halverson entitled Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and the Schools was published by Teachers College Press in September 2009.


  • PhD, Cognitive Psychology, University of Michigan, 1970
  • MA, Communication Sciences, University of Michigan, 1961

Selected Publications

Collins, A., Joseph, D. & Bielaczyc, K. (2004). Design research: Theoretical and methodological issues. Journal of the Learning Sciences: 13 (1), 15-42.

Bielaczyc, K. & Collins, A. (1999). Learning communities in classrooms: A reconceptualization of educational practicein Reigeluth, C. M. (Ed), Instructional-design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory  (pp. 269-292). Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Greeno, J. G., Collins, A. & Resnick, L. B. (1996). Cognition and learning in Berliner, D.C. & Calfee, R.C. (Eds.), Handbook of Educational Psychology New York: Macmillan.