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Project Zero Online Professional Education

In collaboration with Project Zero, the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) is offering online professional education courses that are research-based and grounded in day-to-day teaching and leadership practice — you can apply what you learn, as you learn. In these 13-week, coach-facilitated, asynchronous online courses, you will work with peers facing similar challenges and take away real-world solutions, inspiration, and the support of an engaged community. Each course promotes active, team-based learning that supports collaboration and sharing in schools and districts. Each has its own focus area but they also work well together.

April Term: Teaching for Understanding course offered in Chinese and Spanish

September Term: September 18 - December 17, 2017

Which course is right for your team? Click here for an overview and comparison of all Project Zero Online courses.

Overview of Creating Cultures of Thinking

More important than learning any particular curriculum is creating a culture of thinking in classrooms and schools where thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted. This course explores how schools and classrooms can become learning contexts where students build on each other’s ideas, thinking is given time, and the focus is on what students learn as well as the work they complete. 

Course developed by Project Zero’s Ron Ritchhart

Overview of Making Learning Visible

As we become more group-oriented in workplaces and schools, our knowledge of ourselves as individual learners and as members of a community becomes more important. Developed in collaboration with educators from Reggio Emilia, Italy, Making Learning Visible (MLV) is a framework for creating and sustaining powerful communities of learning in the classroom and the staffroom.  This course introduces educators to documentation of learning as a tool for enhancing learning and teaching from preschool through secondary school. 

Course developed by Project Zero’s Mara Krechevsky

Overview of Multiple Intelligences

Harvard Professor Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences has helped educators all over the world understand learners’ diverse passions, proclivities and interests.  This course supports participants in applying the theory to more effectively build all students' understanding of important knowledge and skills valued in and beyond school. 

Course developed by current Project Zero researchers who have worked closely with Howard Gardner, using Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences

Overview of Teaching for Understanding

As educators, we seek to prepare our students for the future, but none of us can predict what future awaits them. So how do we shape learning experiences that prepare students to apply their knowledge and skills in new situations?  This course introduces the Teaching for Understanding (TfU) framework as a tool for shaping curriculum and classroom experiences to help students develop this kind of robust and transferable understanding.  

Course developed by Project Zero’s Tina Blythe

Overview of Thinking and Learning in the Maker-Centered Classroom

The recent buzz about STEM, the Maker Movement, and DIY (do-it-yourself) practices have given rise to a renewed focus on maker-centered teaching and learning.  This course offers a framework that fosters young people’s sensitivity to the designed dimension of their environment, giving them the opportunity to explore the complexities of design and to understand themselves as designers of their worlds. 

Course developed by Project Zero’s Jennifer Ryan & Edward Clapp

Overview of Visible Thinking

Visible Thinking is an approach to teaching that develops students' thinking dispositions, such as the inclination to be curious, open-minded, or analytical, while also deepening their understanding of the topics they study.  This course introduces educators to a set of thinking routines — easy-to-apply teaching strategies that can be used to help students explore, synthesize, organize or dig more deeply into ideas. 

Course developed by Project Zero’s Shari Tishman & Jessica Ross

Faculty Chair

Daniel Wilson is lecturer on education and director of Project Zero at HGSE. He is a principal investigator at Project Zero, a lecturer at HGSE, faculty for the Doctorate for Educational Leadership Program at HGSE, and the educational chair at Harvard’s Learning Environments for Tomorrow Institute, a collaboration with HGSE and Harvard Graduate School of Design. His teaching and writing explore the inherent socio-psychological tensions — dilemmas of knowing, trusting, leading, and belonging — in adult collaborative learning across a variety of contexts. Specifically he focuses on how groups navigate these tensions through language, routines, roles, and artifacts.


PZ-HGSE Online Courses are informed by the work of the WIDE World Online Course Project that operated from 1999 – 2012. Through its history the WIDE World project was fortunate to have had the support of many individuals and organizations. Mr. Albert Merck, a 1943 Harvard College graduate, and his wife, Kate, were foundational supporters and continued their generous philanthropy throughout the entire 13-year project. In 2012 the WIDE World project integrated into Programs in Professional Education (PPE). Mr. Merck’s legacy continues with the development of new courses based on Project Zero research using and expanding on the online learning model that was developed by WIDE World.

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