Joseph D. Novak

Joseph Novak tells his story

Joseph Novak was a Senior Research Scientist at IHMC and Professor Emeritus at Cornell University. He is recognized worldwide for the development of concept maps, but his lifelong effort as a researcher, professor and business consultant paints a much broader picture of a relentless scientist fighting to have his ideas accepted by peers and in the U.S., while they were accepted widely in the rest of the world. He died in September 2023.

Novak shared his work in his autobiography and in video. In his words:

This book and the videos present the story of my lifelong search for better ways to help people learn. It begins with the story of my early family life that shaped and sustained my commitment to improve educating by building better theoretic foundations and better tools to understand and facilitating learning. Some of the academic challenges I faced are also discussed, as well as some of the successes we have had, especially with the development of the concept map tool now used in schools, businesses and organizations all around the world. My wife, Joan, my children, and my students have played an important role in my work, and some of their stories are included. 

Download and read Joe Novak’s autobiography, A Search to Create a Science of Education:
The Life of an Ivy League Professor, Business Consultant, and Research Scientist

Hear Joseph Novak narrate his life, from early childhood to the development of concept mapping.