Joe Polman is a professor of Learning Sciences and Human Development as well as Associate Dean for Research in the School of Education at University of Colorado Boulder. At CU Boulder, he is also a fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science and the National Education Policy Center, and affiliated faculty in the Department of Information Science.
Formerly, he was a professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. His bachelor of arts is in comparative literature (with German) from Brown University, and his PhD is in learning sciences from Northwestern University.
Polman designs and studies project-based learning environments for youth and adults in schools and community-based programs. He focuses on learning and identity development of people engaged in practices of science, literacy, history and journalism. He seeks to identify and make accessible practices from the disciplines and professions that learners can find meaningful and transformative in their lives. An important goal of his research is informing the design of learning environments that involve people with powerful tools for democratic participation, in pursuing personal and civic action. He is a past president and fellow of the International Society of the Learning Sciences.