Joyce M. Alexander

Joyce M. Alexander

Professor, Counseling and Educational Psychology, School of Education

Professor, Education, School of Education


  • Ph.D., University of Georgia, 1992
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Semifinalist, National Academy of Education Spencer, 1998


  • Indiana University Teaching Excellence Recognition Award, 1996-97
  • Indiana University Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, 1995-96
  • American Psychology Association Division 15 Outstanding Dissertation Research Award, 1994

Research interests

  • Cognitive strategy development

My research agenda has been primarily focused on how learners use metacognitive knowledge in learning situations. Metacognitive knowledge is assumed to play a role in optimal performance on a cognitive task. Learners should take what they know about their abilities, about different strategies, and the situation, and make decisions about strategy use and effort allocation. The specific objectives for my research have been centered around the following three questions:

  • What do learners know about mental activities and how do they choose to organize that information?
  • How does metacognitive sophistication interact with individual differences in domain knowledge level and intelligence to impact strategy use and a learner's ability to remember in a given situation?
  • How can we use the information we know about what affects strategy use to develop effective ways to teach strategies in the classroom?

Representative publications

Alexander, J. M., Johnson, K. E. & Kelley, K. (2012). Longitudinal analysis of the relations between opportunities to learn about science and the development of interests related to science. Science Education, 96, 763-786.

Alexander, J. M., Johnson, K. E. & Kelley, K. (2012). Longitudinal Analysis of the Relations Between Opportunities to Learn About Science and the Development of Interests Related to Science. Science Education, 96(5), 763-786.

Jones, M. H., Alexander, J. M. & Estell, D. B. (2010). Homophily Among Peer Group Members Perceived Self-Regulated Learning. Journal of Experimental Education, 78(3), 378-394.

Alexander, J. M., Johnson, K. E., Leibham, M. E. & Kelley, K. (2008). The Development of Conceptual Interests in Young Children. Cognitive Development, 23(2), 324-334.

Alexander, J. M., Johnson, K. E., Scott, B. & Meyer, R. D. (2008). Stegosaurus and Spoonbills: Mechanisms for Transfer Across Biological Domains. In M. Shaughnessy, M. Veenman & C. Kleyn-Kennedy (Eds.) Metacognition A Recent Review of Research, Theory, and Perspectives. 63-83. Happauge, NY: Nova Publications.

Alexander, J. M. & Schnick, A. K. (2008). Motivation. In J. Plucker & C. Callanan (Eds.) Critical Issues and Practices in Gifted Education. 423-449. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

Jones, M. H., Estell, D. B. & Alexander, J. M. (2008). Friends, Classmates, and Self-Regulated Learning: Discussions with Peers Inside and Outside the Classroom. Metacognition and Learning, 3(1), 1-15.

Neitzel, C. L., Alexander, J. M. & Johnson, K. E. (2008). Childrens Early Interest Based Activities in the Home and Subsequent Information Contributions and Pursuits in Kindergarten. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(4), 782-797.

Alexander, J. M., Johnson, K. E., Albano, J., Freygang, T. & Scott, B. (2006). Relations Between Intelligence and the Development of Metaconceptual Knowledge. Metacognition and Learning, 1(1), 51-67.

Alexander, J. M., Kuo, C., Johnson, K. E., Fleming, V. M., Schreiber, J. B., Daytner, K. M. (2006). The Effect of IQ and Knowledge Cohesiveness on Memory Task Performance in Early Elementary School. In S. Hogan (Ed.) New Developments in Learning Research. 119-144. Happauge, NY: Nova Publications.

Shih, S., Wang, C. & Alexander, J. M. (2006). The Applicability of Western Motivation Models to the Taiwanese Context. In A. Mitel (Ed.) Trends in Educational Psychology. 155-184. Happauge, NY: Nova Publications.

Alexander, J. M., Johnson, K. E., Leibham, M. E. & DeBauge, C. (2005). Constructing Domain-Specific Knowledge in Kindergarten: Relations Among Knowledge, Intelligence, and Strategic Performance. Learning and Individual Differences, 15(1), 35-52.

Ismail, H. N. & Alexander, J. M. (2005). Learning within Scripted and Nonscripted Peer Tutoring Sessions: The Malaysian Context. Journal of Educational Research, 99(2), 67-77.

Leibham, M. E., Alexander, J. M., Johnson, K. E., Neitzel, C. L. & Reis-Henrie, F. (2005). Parenting Behaviors Associated With the Maintenance of Preschoolers Interests: A Prospective Longitudinal Study. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 26(4), 397-414.

Johnson, K. E., Alexander, J. M., Spencer, S., Leibham, M. E. & Neitzel, C. L. (2004). Factors Associated With the Early Emergence of Intense Interests Within Conceptual Domains. Cognitive Development, 19(3), 325-343.

Dissertation committee service

Schuh, K. L., Exploring the Connections: Knowledge Construction in the Learner-Centered Classroom (June 2000), Cunningham, D. J. (Co-Chair), Duffy, T. M. (Co-Chair), Alexander, J., Barab, S.