Celebrating 15 Years of Making Learning VisibleBy Stephanie Kacoyanis
On May 9, 2012 Project Zero hosted an event at the Harvard Graduate School of Education celebrating the history and contributions of the Making Learning Visible (MLV) Project. Since 1997, MLV has investigated the dynamics of individual and group learning and the role of documentation in supporting the development of powerful learning groups in classrooms and schools. The project began in 1997 as a collaboration between the Preschools and Infant-Toddler Centers in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and Project Zero. From 2001-2011, Project Zero researchers worked with preschool through high school teachers and teacher educators to translate these ideas into the U.S. context.
The event on May 9 included presentations and a panel discussion on MLV, involving the following Project Zero researchers and MLV collaborators, and alumni:
Ron Berger (Expeditionary Learning)
Marina Boni (Boston Public Schools)
Howard Gardner (Project Zero)
Leslie Gell (Ready to Learn Providence)
Mara Krechevsky (Project Zero)
Steve Seidel (Project Zero)
Damon Smith (Cambridge Rindge and Latin School)
Joan Soble (Cambridge Rindge and Latin School)
Stephanie Cox Suarez (Wheelock College)
Shari Tishman (Project Zero)
Melissa Tonachel (Mission Hill Pilot School)
Speaking on the contributions MLV has made, longtime project manager of MLV Mara Krechevsky noted that when people begin to understand MLV, they initially associate it with documentation, and then with group learning, but ultimately realize that MLV is about understanding culture, values and democracy. As she put it, “Learning in groups isn’t just about learning content. It’s about developing the capacity to negotiate conflict and moderate ideas.”
Project Zero is an educational research group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Project Zero’s mission is to understand and enhance learning, thinking, and creativity in the arts, as well as humanistic and scientific disciplines, at the individual and institutional levels.