Menu Harvard Graduate School of Education

Shari Tishman

Lecturer on Education, Arts in Education Program
Director, Project Zero
Shari Tishman

Degree:  Ed.D., Harvard University, (1991)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.496.9963
Fax:  617.495.9709
Vitae/CV:   Shari Tishman.pdf
Office:  Longfellow 415
Faculty Assistant:  Scott Ruescher


Shari Tishman is a Lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero, where she recently served as Director. Her research focuses on the development of thinking and understanding, the role of close observation in learning, and learning in and through the arts. She currently co-directs Agency by Design, a project related to the maker movement that is investigating the promises, practices and pedagogies of maker-centered learning. She also co-directs Out of Eden Learn, an online learning community, currently being used in over 700 classrooms worldwide, that is linked to National Geographic journalist Paul Salopek's seven-year walk around the world. Past notable projects include Visible Thinking, a dispositional approach to teaching thinking that foregrounds the use of thinking routines and the documentation of student thinking, and Artful Thinking, a related approach that emphasizes the development of thinking dispositions through looking at art. The author of numerous articles and books, Tishman is currently at work on a book on 'Slow Looking.'

Areas of Expertise

Art Works for Schools
A program for teaching high-level thinking in and through the arts.

Sponsored Projects

Visual Thinking Curriculum - Phase III (1999-2001)
Museum of Modern Art

Over much of 1998 and 1999, HGSE Research Associate Shari Tishman and fellow researchers at Harvard Project Zero (PZ) worked with the MoMA Department of Education to plan and complete a full-scale, formal evaluation of the Visual Thinking Curriculum (VTC), and lay the groundwork for the development of a revised version of the VTC. Under this new contract, PZ guides MoMA staff in writing the revised VTC and coordinates pilot-testing of the new curriculum.


Seidel, S., Tishman, S., Hetland, L., Palmer, P., & Winner, E. (2009). The Qualities of Quality: Excellence in Arts Education and How to Achieve It. Washington, D.C.: Arts Education Partnership.,(2009)

Tishman, S. (2008). The object of their attention. Educational Leadership. Vol. 25(5). 44-46.,(2008)

Tishman, S. & Palley, B. (2008). See, think, learn, understand: Life lessons from the arts. Crescendo Magazine, Interlochen Center for the Arts.,(2008)

Tishman, S. , McKinney, A., Straughn, C. (2007). Study Center Learning: An investigation of the educational power and potential of the Harvard University Art Museums Study Centers. Harvard Project Zero.,(2007),(2007)

Tishman, S. & Palmer, P. (2007) Works of art are good to think about : A study of the impact of the Artful Thinking program on students’ and teachers’ concepts of art, and students’ concepts of thinking. In Evaluating the Impact of Arts and Cultural Education. Paris: Centre Pompidou, 89-101. (in French and English) Also in R. Niehoff & R. Wenrich (Eds.), Thinking and learning with images: Interdisciplinary approaches to aesthetic education. Kopaed Publishing, Munich. (In German),(2007)

"From Edification to Engagement: Learning Designs in Museums," in College Art Association News,(2005)

Art Works for Schools: A Curriculum for Teaching Thinking in and Through the Arts (with T. Grotzer, L. Howick, and D. Wise,(2002)

"Added Value: A Dispositional Perspective on Thinking" in Developing Minds,(2001)

"Intelligence in the Wild: A Dispositional View of Intellectual Traits," in Educational Psychology Review (with D. Perkins, R. Ritchhart , K. Donis, and A. Andrade),(2000)

"Thinking Through the Arts," in The Project Zero Classroom: Views on Understanding (with D. Wise),(1999)

"The Language of Thinking," in Kappan (with D. Perkins),(1997)

Critical Squares: Games of Critical Thinking and Understanding (with A. Andrade),(1997)

The Thinking Classroom: Learning and Teaching in a Culture of Thinking (with D. Perkins and E. Jay),(1995)

News Stories

Campaign Banner

Learn to Change the World

The Campaign for Harvard Graduate School of Education enables HGSE to fulfill its vision of changing the world through education by expanding opportunity and improving outcomes.

Learn More