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Faculty & Research

Elizabeth Dawes Duraisingh

Research Associate I

Project Zero

Elizabeth Dawes Duraisingh

Degree:  Ed.D., Harvard University, (2012)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.495.3081
Office:  Longfellow 433
Faculty Assistant:  Jeffrey Brisbin


Liz Dawes Duraisingh is a principal investigator at Project Zero, a research center at HGSE, where she engages in design-based research focused on developing powerful and relevant educational experiences for both students and educators. Her work is both international and intercultural. Out of Eden Learn, which she co-directs, is an online learning community and research project designed to promote thoughtful intercultural inquiry and exchange among young people situated in different parts of the world: to date, over 30,000 students from 60 countries have participated free of charge. As part of this project, Dawes Duraisingh leads research strands related to young people’s understanding of the phenomenon of culture and of different cultures including their own, as well as how their thinking can develop around the topic of human migration. 

Dawes Duraisingh is also committed to supporting educators to grow personally and professionally in ways that will help them to promote deeper learning in schools. She co-directs Creating Communities of Innovation, a collaborative research project that fosters inquiry-driven teacher professional development and innovation both within and across a culturally diverse network of schools in the United Arab Emirates—work that has resulted in a model and toolkit for promoting inquiry-driven innovation in schools. In addition, she directs a sister project, Creando Comunidades de Indagación/Creating Communities of Inquiry, a collaboration with the Innova Schools of Peru as they seek to promote a culture of inquiry-driven teaching and learning across their rapidly expanding network of schools. Dawes Duraisingh teaches qualitative research methods at HGSE. She was formerly a high school history teacher, working in England and Australia.

Click here to see a full list of Liz Dawes Duraisingh's courses.

Sponsored Projects


Out of Eden Learn and Global Cities: Analysis and Case Study of an Online Exchange Program (2019-2021)
Global Cities, Inc.

In an era marked by our interconnectedness yet growing divisiveness and fear, it is vital for young people to have opportunities for international learning. Global Cities, Inc. and Out of Eden Learn (OOEL) are two programs that seek to address the urgent educational and real-world need to provide such opportunities. Both convene classes of young people located in different parts of the world; deliver online curricula designed to engage them in their local communities; and offer opportunities for them to enter into authentic dialogue with one another. At present, very little empirically-grounded research has been done into the kinds of learning facilitated by such programs. The work proposed here involves systematically examining the kinds of learning taking place and then sharing those findings in ways that will be both accessible and compelling to educators and policy makers. The first phase of work will result in tools which will be useful for evaluators, educators, and program designers to continue to analyze discussion boards and identify student learning. The second phase involves an investigation into the impact of Global CitiesÂ’ Global Scholars program in terms of classroom teachersÂ’ practice, and their approach to teaching and learning. This investigation will result in a compelling, visually appealing case study that will explain the potential of programs such as Global Scholars to transform teaching and learning practices. A more academic version of this case study will also be produced for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.


Out of Eden Learn (2017-2018)
Global Cities, Inc.

Out of Eden Learn is an innovative online learning community developed by Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, to promote thoughtful cross-cultural exchange among youth located in different geographic contexts. Out of Eden Learn involves a collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek who is walking around the world along the migratory pathways of our ancient human ancestors. Out of Eden Learn organizes diverse groups to engage in “learning journeys” that emulate Salopek’s “slow journalism,” with students posting work and leaving comments for one another on a custom-built social media-type platform. The curriculum invites students to (1) slow down to observe the world carefully and to listen attentively to others, (2) share stories and perspectives with one another, and (3) make connections between their own lives and bigger human stories. Over 15,000 students aged 3-18 from 52 countries have so far taken part.


Creating Communities of Innovation: A networked approach toward action research in schools (2016-2017)
GEMS Education

How might we create scalable innovations within a network of schools? And how might we use that network to develop and sustain innovations that truly add value to teaching and learning? These questions lie at the heart of a proposed partnership between Project Zero and the GEMS MENASA Unit, a network of 45 schools within the United Arab Emirates. We will institute a two-year action research agenda amongst six or seven of the network schools with a view to developing scalable educational innovations. Representatives from Project Zero will work with Innovation Leaders, and select educators and administrators at each school to develop and carry out action research projects pertinent to each school’s approach to innovation, and then synthesize the learning that happens across the participating schools through their separate, though networked lines of inquiry. A range of Project Zero instructional frameworks may be employed, modified, or further developed at each school as part of the overall process.This project will:•Catalyze a professional learning community of Innovation Leaders, educators, and administrators throughout the participant schools.•Equip participating Innovation Leaders, educators, and administrators with the skills necessary to embark upon new action research endeavors beyond the scope of this project.•Surface educational innovation strategies that may be scaled across the full breadth of GEMS MENASA Unit schools and the broader network of GEMS World Academies.•Lead to research with applicability beyond the scope of the GEMS MENASA model. One research strand will involve capturing the distributed development of ideas across the network of schools and the contribution of the network in terms of promoting classroom innovation. The other will concern developments in educators’ understanding about the process of engaging in classroom-based research and their potential role as educator-researchers.

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