University of Pittsburgh
July 14, 2002

Pitt Education Pioneer Robert Glaser Awarded The Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree at McGill University Also Delivers Convocation Address at McGill

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July 15, 2002

PITTSBURGH—Robert Glaser—founding director emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) and Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Education at Pitt—has received the 2002 honorary Doctor of Laws degree from McGill University in Montreal. Glaser, an internationally recognized scholar in the psychology of learning, cognition, and instruction, received the honorary degree at the McGill Faculty of Education's June convocation ceremony.

McGill's Honorary Degrees and Convocations Committee and University Senate, which selected Glaser for the honor, recognize those individuals "whose accomplishments are of such excellence that they provide inspiration and leadership to its [McGill's] graduates."

Glaser graduated from Indiana University in 1949 with a Ph.D. degree in psychological measurement and learning theory and was an assistant professor at the University of Illinois before becoming a senior research scientist at the American Institutes for Research in 1952. He joined Pitt's Department of Psychology in 1956 and founded LRDC in 1963, serving as its director until 1997.

Glaser's work currently focuses on cognitive processes in instruction, the nature of expertise, the assessment of subject-matter competence, and the relationships between cognitive science and educational measurement.

Glaser delivered the McGill Faculty of Education convocation address, titled "The Road to Competence." His main goal, he says, was "to provide information that would help graduates become more aware of their own progress as they become increasingly more competent in their work." In his address, Glaser shared his knowledge of the characteristics that contribute to becoming an expert in one's field: "Experts excel mainly in their own domains of knowledge; experts perceive meaningful patterns in their domains; experts are fast…at performing the skills of their domain and they quickly solve problems with little error; experts have superior memory in their specialties; experts see and represent problems in their field at a deeper level than novices; and experts have strong self-monitoring skills; this means they keenly observe their own performance."

Glaser's other awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship; the American Educational Research Association Award for Distinguished Research and its E.F. Linquist Award; the American Psychological Association's E.L. Thorndike Award for Distinguished Psychological Contributions to Education, its Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology, and its Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics; the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award of the American Psychological Society; Pitt's Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award; the National Society for Performance and Instruction's Distinguished Professional Achievement Award; and the University of California at Los Angeles Center for the Study of Evaluation's Distinguished Achievement Award.

As president of the National Academy of Education from 1981 to 1985, Glaser initiated exchange visits with psychological and educational researchers in Moscow and Tbilisi. He also served as the president of the American Educational Research Association and the American Psychological Association's Division of Evaluation and Measurement and Division of Educational Psychology.

Glaser has been a consultant to numerous commissions and foundations, the author or editor of more than 20 books and 220 articles, and a member of the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He also has edited Volume 5, "Advances in Instructional Psychology, Educational Design and Cognitive Science," (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000).