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Faculty & Research

Daniel Wilson

Lecturer on Education

Daniel Wilson

Degree:  Ed.D., Harvard University, (2007)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.496.6945
Office:  Longfellow 427
Office Hours Contact:  Email the Faculty Assistant to set up the appointment
Faculty Assistant:  Jeffrey Brisbin


Daniel Wilson is the director of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), where he is also a principal investigator, a lecturer on education at HGSE, and the educational chair at Harvard’s Learning Environments for Tomorrow — a collaboration with HGSE and Harvard Graduate School of Design. His teaching and writing explores 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.

This interest can be seen in three areas of his current work: 

  • Professional Learning in Communities: How do a variety of professionals come together to learn with and from one another? Currently Wilson directs the research of Project Zero’s “Learning Innovations Laboratory (LILA),” an interdisciplinary professional learning community that facilitates cross-organizational learning on contemporary challenges of human development and change in organizations. LILA involves top leaders from twenty global organizations such as the Cisco, Novartis, the CIA, Steelcase, and the US Army. Since 2000, LILA has conducted dozens of explorations into themes such as the emerging science of decision making, the future of learning, and leadership development. 
  • Learning & Leadership Behaviors in the Workplace: How do professionals develop and deploy actions that enable learning in their everyday work? Wilson co-authored the book, Learning at Work (2005), outlines practices that support formal and informal learning in the workplace. From 2007-2011 he was a Research Fellow at the acclaimed innovation design consultancy, IDEO, in which he studied and designed interventions to enhance the learning and leadership behaviors in their design teams. Additionally, he is currently co-directing the “Leading Learning that Matters”, a research project with 25 independent schools in Victoria, Australia that aims to document innovative school leadership practices that support 21st century learning skills.   
  • Making Learning Visible: How can teachers and students create new forms of learning in which their identities and their knowledge can be made more visible to themselves and to others? Wilson was the principal investigator on the “Making Learning Visible Project,” a project that engages pre-k through high school educators in adapting the Reggio Emilia pedagogical principles

Since joining Project Zero as a researcher in 1993, Wilson, has also participated on projects such as: "Teaching for Understanding" (1993-1996), "Understanding for Organizations" (1996-1999), "Teaching for Understanding in Universities" (1996-1999), "Wide World Project" (1999-2002), "Project-based Learning in After Schools Project" (2000-2002), and the "Storywork Project" with the International Storytelling Institute (2002-2004).

Click here to see a full list of Daniel Wilson's courses.

Areas of Expertise
Sponsored Projects


Leading Learning that Matters II (2017-2021)
Independent Schools Victoria

Since November 2011, Project Zero and Independent Schools Victoria (ISV), a membership-based organization consisting of 220 independent schools in the state of Victoria, Australia, have collaborated on a research and professional development project called Leading Learning that Matters (LLtM), which involved an initial cohort of 11 veteran school principals. The LLtM project created a small learning community with the participating principals that allowed them to build social connections while deeply exploring two complementary themes: 21st century learning and leadership. This 48-month continuation of the LLtM project will continue to build on the strengths of the pilot project over two cycles (January 2017-December 2018 and January 2019-December 2020), with two new cohorts (cohorts 2 and 3) of veteran principals respectively. Researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero will continue to work with ISV to establish and sustain a vibrant learning community of experienced ISV principals, and explore how insights and images of practice for 21st century learning and leadership may speak beyond the boundaries of ISV and inspire schools around the globe.


Learning at Work: Research Lessons from Leading Learning in the Workplace (with D. Perkins, D. Bonnet, C. Miani, and C. Unger),(2005)

Fun Learning Matters: A Guide to Project Based Learning in After-schools (with T. Blythe and J. Boyd),(2002)

"Bridging the Idea-Action Gap," in Journal of the Institute for Knowledge Management (with D. Perkins),(1999)

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