Professor Daniel T. Willingham earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1992. Until about 2000, his research focused solely on the brain basis of learning and memory. Today, all of his research concerns the application of cognitive psychology to K-16 education.
Daniel writes the “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” column for American Educator magazine, in which he has translated relevant cognitive science research for educators since 2003. He is also a prolific author whose writing on education has appeared in seventeen languages. His classic book, Why Don’t Students Like School?, has recently been republished in its second edition with additional material. He has also written When Can You Trust the Experts?, Raising Kids Who Read, and The Reading Mind. His forthcoming book (set for release in August 2022) is entitled Outsmart Your Brain: Why Learning is Hard and How You Can Make It Easy, this time directed at students themselves to support them to develop their self-management and study skills.
In 2017, Professor Willingham was appointed by President Obama to serve as a Member of the National Board for Education Sciences.