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David W. Johnson

Emeritus Professor


Educational Psychology
143 EdSciB
56 East River Rd

Ed.D., Columbia University

I am a Co-Director of the Cooperative Learning Center. I held the Emma M. Birkmaier Professorship in Educational Leadership at the University of Minnesota from 1994 to 1997 and the Libra Endowed Chair for Visiting Professor at the University of Maine in 1996-1997.  I received the American Psychological Association’s 2003 Award for Distinguished Contributions of Applications of Psychology to Education and Practice.  In 2007 I received (with my brother Roger) the Brock International Prize in Education administered by the College of Liberal Studies at the University of Oklahoma.  In 2008 I received the Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award from the American Education Research Association and in 2011 I was awarded the Alfred M. Wellner Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology.  

I’ve authored over 500 research articles and book chapters and over 50 books.  I’m a past-editor of the American Educational Research Journal. For the past 40 years I have served as an organizational consultant to schools and businesses throughout the world.  I am a practicing psychotherapist.

My research interests are (a) cooperative, competitive, and individualistic efforts; (b) conflict resolution (structured controversy and peer mediation), and (c) social psychology of groups in general. I am active in the field of organizational development and change, and in innovation in educational practice. I emphasize the integration of theory, research, and practice.


Ed.D. in social psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York, 1964-1966

M.A. in social psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York, 1962-1964

B.S. in English, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, 1958-1962

Professional experience

Professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1973 - present

Associate professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1969 - 1973

Assistant professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1966 - 1969

Instructor, City University of New York, 1965 - 1966


  1. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, F. (2000). Joining together: Group Theory and Group Skills
  2. Johnson, D. W. (2000). Reaching out: Interpersonal Effectiveness and Self-actualization
  3. Holubec, E., Mitchell, J., Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (2000). Instructor's Manu