Jose P. Mestre

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign



Professor Mestre received bachelor's and PhD degrees in physics from the University of Massachusetts in 1974 and 1979, respectively, and spent his entire career until 2005, at the University of Massachusetts, rising rapidly through the ranks from research associate to full professor.

He came to Urbana in August 2005, as a full professor of physics and of educational psychology. Although trained as a nuclear physicist, his academic interests evolved more than 20 years ago to the questions of how students learn physics. He is a distinguished scholar of physics learning and arguably the most highly regarded researcher in the field of physics education in the United States. He has adapted tools from cognitive and educational psychology to investigate forefront issues in the development of scientific knowledge and how it is conveyed in instruction.

Research Areas: Cognitive processes pertaining to learning science; role and interaction of language in problem solving; use of technology in science and mathematics education

Backgrounder:

Implications of Learning Research for Teaching Science to Non-Science Majors