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Faculty & Research

Elizabeth City

Senior Lecturer on Education

Elizabeth City

Degree:  Ed.D., Harvard University, (2007)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.496.1076
Vitae/CV:   Elizabeth City.pdf
Office:  Gutman 433
Office Hours Contact:  Email the Faculty Assistant to set up the appointment
Faculty Coordinator:  Cherise Kenner


Liz City is senior lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. City has served as a teacher, instructional coach, principal, and consultant, in each role focused on helping all children, and the educators who work with them, realize their full potential. City's work is a combination of pragmatic: "How can we do our work better every day for children now?" — and imaginative — "What might learning and the systems that support learning look like in the not-too-distant future?" City fell in love with teaching in a closet-turned-classroom in St. Petersburg, Russia. She still loves teaching, and sees leadership as a continuous act of learning and teaching. From her early passion for literacy as a middle school Humanities teacher to her current work in developing leaders, common themes in City's work are collaboration, evidence-based discussion, asking the right questions, thinking and acting strategically, and learning through doing. 

She has authored/co-authored many publications, including: Meeting Wise: Making the Most of Collaborative Time for Educators (2014); Data Wise, Revised and Expanded Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Assessment Results to Improve Teaching and Learning (2013); Strategy in Action: How School Systems Can Support Powerful Learning and Teaching (2009); Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning (2009); Resourceful Leadership: Tradeoffs and Tough Decisions on the Road to School Improvement (2008); and The Teacher's Guide to Leading Student-Centered Discussions: Talking about Texts in the Classroom (2006).

Click here to see a full list of Elizabeth City's courses.

Areas of Expertise
Sponsored Projects


Improving Early Literacy at Scale through Personalized Diagnosis and Intervention (2018-2022)
Chan- Zuckerberg Foundation

“Personalized learning” is an emerging movement in education, generating both optimism and skepticism in the field. We are optimistic because of the enormous possibilities implicit in helping every learner reach his or her full potential by leveraging advances in technology, but we also recognize challenges to large-scale change due to the thin evidence base and constraining policy and practice environments. We share with many in education a deep commitment to the principles of equity and excellence motivating much of the move to personalized learning.Building on a joint planning process begun in January 2017, the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and MIT are pleased to submit this proposal for a $30 million joint initiative to improve early literacy through personalized diagnosis and intervention. Because we believe that personalized learning will take root and expand only if it can make demonstrable progress in addressing pressing education challenges, we will focus on applying principles of personalization toward the goal that all children achieve mastery of foundational literacy skills by the end of third grade.


Boudett, K. P., & City, E. A. (2014). Meeting wise: Making the most of collaborative time for educators. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Boudett, K. P., & City, E. A. (2013, May/June). Lessons from the Data Wise Project: Three habits of mind for building a collaborative culture. Harvard Education Letter, 29(3).

City, E. A. (2013, April). Leadership in challenging times. Educational Leadership, 70(7).

Boudett, K. P., City, E. A., & Murnane, R. J. (Eds.). (2013). Data wise, revised and expanded edition: A step-by-step guide to using assessment results to improve teaching and learning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

City, E. A., Elmore, R. F., & Lynch, D. (2012). Redefining education: The future of learning is not the future of schooling. In J. Mehta, F. M. Hess, & R. B. Schwartz (Eds.), The futures of school reform (pp. 151-176). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Elmore, R. F., & City, E. A. (2011, May 16). Using technology to move beyond schools. Education Week.

City, E. A. (2011, October). Learning from instructional rounds. Educational Leadership, 69(2).

City, E. A. (2010, November). Will unbundling provide the best education for all? Phi Delta Kappan, 92(3).

Boudett, K. P., City, E. A., & Russell, M. K. (2010). Key elements of observing practice: A Data-Wise DVD and facilitator’s guide. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Curtis, R. E., & City, E. A. (2009, November/December). The real race to the top. Harvard Education Letter, 25(6).

City, E. A., Elmore, R. F., Fiarman, S. E., & Teitel, L. (2009). Instructional rounds in education: A network approach to improving teaching and learning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Curtis, R. E., & City, E. A. (2009). Strategy in action: How school systems can support powerful learning and teaching. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

City, E. A. (2008). Resourceful leadership: Tradeoffs and tough decisions on the road to school improvement. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Elmore, R. F., & City, E. A. (2007). The road to school improvement. In Walser, N. & Chauncey, C. (Eds.), Spotlight on leadership and school change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. Also in (2007, May/June). Harvard Education Letter, 23(3).

City, E. A. (2007, September/October). Is coaching the best use of resources? Harvard Education Letter, 23(5).

Hale, M., & City, E. A. (2006). The teacher’s guide to leading student-centered discussions: Talking about texts in the classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

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Professional Education Programs