Peter Doolittle grew up in Maryland, on the shores of Cattail Creek, just off the Chesapeake Bay. His skills of inquiry and investigation were honed during long days of exploring the mud banks and open waters of the Magothy River. This physical exploration was accompanied by a mental examination of the possibilities of life inspired by the collective works of Robert Heinlein, Thomas Ryan and Stephen Donaldson. Later, as high school gave way to college, his interests shifted from brief flirtations with engineering and oceanography to a more solid craving to understand the processes of human learning. This interest in human learning was brought into specific relief during a Psychology of Learning course taken at Southern Methodist University taught by John Batson. Following the attainment of an M.S. in Education from Baylor University and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at The Catholic University of America, he taught at Southeastern Louisiana University, before joining the Educational Psychology faculty at Virginia Tech in 1997.
Dr. Doolittle teaches Cognition and Instruction. Constructivism and Education, Multimedia Cognition, and College Teaching as a professor of educational psychology in the Department of Learning Sciences and Technologies. He became a Distinguished Fellow of the International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning in 2011, and from Virginia Tech the recipient of the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010, Certificate of Teaching Excellence from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in 2009, Outstanding Teaching Award for the School of Education in 2008, and the Excellence in Graduate Student Advising Award for the College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences in 2007. He has also had the opportunity to teach educational psychology in Mexico, Ireland and Malawi.
His research is focused on learning in multimedia environments, with specific emphasis on the role of working memory.
Areas of Expertise
Where Cognitive Science and Pedagogy Collide, Myths and Legends of Learning Technologies
I'm passionate about
Teaching and learning: The center of development of individuals within the context of their lives, looking toward a future yet to be written.
Talk to me about
Teaching, Learning, Technology, Multimedia, Constructivism, Complex Systems, Instructional Design, Knowing, Epistemology
People don't know I'm good at
Synthesizing large amounts of information into short explanations or categories that are easily comprehensible. Writing with both hands.