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Faculty & Research

Helen Haste

Visiting Professor of Education

Helen Haste

Degree:  Ph.D., University of Bath, (1985)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.354.1544
Fax:  617.384.8117
Vitae/CV:   Helen Haste.pdf
Office:  Larsen 613
Office Hours Contact:  Use sign-up sheet on Faculty Member’s door and email Faculty Member
Faculty Assistant:  Joelle Mottola


Helen Haste is a visiting professor at HGSE and principal investigator for the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Spencer Foundation-funded New Civics Early Career Scholars' Program. This supports currently 22 HGSE doctoral students whose research interests concern civic education and civic engagement. The program involves workshops, internships, and special courses. She was co-editor of the journal "Political Psychology" (2010-2015) and was president of the International Society of Political Psychology in 2002. Haste was chair of the "Journal of Moral Education Trust" between 2007 and 2014. For many years she had leadership roles in the British Association for the Advancement of Science including vice president and chair of council. In addition to her current primary appointment as visiting professor at HGSE, she is Emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Bath, England and a senior research fellow of the Education University of Hong Kong. During the last five years she has also been a visiting professor at the University of Exeter, England, and an honorary guest professor at the University of Jinan, China. Haste is a recipient of two of the International Society of Political Psychology's career awards, the Sanford Award and the Knutson Award, and the Association for Moral Education's Kuhmerker Award for her lifetime contribution to the field of moral development. She is listed in Debrett's People of Today. She is a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Science, the British Psychological Society and the Royal Society of Arts. She has been a frequent contributor to broadcasting and public media.
Areas of Expertise
Research Activities and Questions
My work is currently dominated by the question “What gets young people involved in civic participation – and what stops them?” How might this inform education? This informs my recent project, with Robert Selman and Xu Zhao, on how Chinese adolescents understand civic and moral issues. A second ongoing strand of my thinking has been about young people and science; why do they like science – and potentially, science careers – and why don’t they? What do they understand ‘science’ to be? How do their beliefs, and feelings, about science fit into their values and their identity? A third strand of my thinking is around gender; not just difference, but how metaphors associated with masculinity and femininity inform our culture and large areas of our lives, and the implications of this.

My work’s overarching theme is that human beings are not just puzzle-solvers, creating private meaning inside their heads. While we do indeed actively make sense of our world, we do this in constant dialogue with others, and both dialogue and individual meaning-making draw on cultural resources: common ground, shared metaphors, narratives and allusions. I argue that these are all interrelated and we cannot understand one part without its dialectical relationship to the others. Nor can we implement education without the whole picture. This theme explains why I consider myself to be a cultural psychologist, drawing on both developmental and social psychology.

Civic engagement is prefigured by civic identity. How we see ourselves as civic agents depends on how we access the cultural narratives that make action seem desirable and feasible. These narratives also provide the shared stories and explanations that support the actor – or not. I have explored these in the study with Chinese adolescents with Selman and Zhao, in studies in the UK, and with data from South Africa in collaboration with Salie Abrahams. Earlier I explored these ideas in relation to social movements, including feminism and peace activism. My long involvement with moral development is also informed by these questions.

My interest in cultural beliefs about science and where science fits into young people’s aspirations and identity closely intersects with the overall theme. I have also explored media images of science – including why dinosaurs are important…. How ‘science’ is perceived and where it fits into dominant values is highly culture-specific. To what extent is science seen as gendered – and how does this affect girls’ and boys’ orientations to pursuing science? In my recent involvement with the six-nation* European Union-funded study of Science Education and Diversity, headed by Rupert Wegerif at the University of Exeter, I worked with the Dutch team (leader, Michiel van Eijck) using questionnaires, interviews and focus groups with 10-14 year olds in the six nations. The data indicate considerable variation in beliefs about and interest in science, and also variation in the extent of gender effects.

New media have transformed all areas of education but especially how cultural narratives are accessed. This strand influences many areas of my work. Another dimension of the overarching theme is the issue of competence; what defines a competent person in the 21st century; Competent as a citizen, but also competent in managing many areas of experience. I define five ‘key competences’; managing ambiguity, finding and sustaining community, agency and responsibility, responding to new technology, and negotiating emotion. Further, I have found that the narratives of the future young people draw upon are closely associated with their meaning-making of the present, and influence their sense of agency.

*United Kingdom, Netherlands, Lebanon, Turkey, Malaysia and India

Fellow of the British Psychological Society

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Fellow, British Association for the Advancement of Science (now the British Science Association)

Nevitt Sanford Award for Contributions to Political Psychology, International Society of Political Psychology

Sponsored Projects

Application to Spencer New Civics Early Career Scholars Initiative (2012-2017)
Spencer Foundation

The purpose of this grant is to build a community of scholars, based at Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) but reaching out across the broader Harvard community, that will support the development of a highly select group of Early Career Scholars, stimulate significant work in the field of civic learning and action, and establish a major site for developing and disseminating empirical and theoretical work in these areas to the worldwide research community. HGSE is well situated to develop a field-building program and train a new generation of early career researchers, building on current research, faculty, doctoral student interests, and activities relating to civic learning and civic action.

Carretero, M., Bermudez, A. & Haste, H. (2016) Political and civic learning, In L. Corno, L. & Anderman, E. (Eds.) Handbook of psychology of education, American Psychological Association. (in preparation),(2016)

Griethuijsen, R., Eijck, M.W. van; Brok, Haste, H.,P.J., Mansour, N. Boujaoude, S & Savran, A. Global patterns in students’ views of science and Interest in science, International J. Science Education (under review),(2015)

Haste, H., Monroe, K., & Jones, J.(2015) Political psychology. In Bevir, M. & Rhoades, R.A.W. (Eds) The Routledge handbook of interpretive political science, London: Routledge (in preparation),(2015)

Dixon, C. & Haste, H. (2014) The dialogic witness; new metaphors of creative and ethical work. In Moran, S., Kaufman, J. C., Cropley, D. (Eds). The ethics of creativity. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. (in press),(2014)

Haste, H. (2013) Culture, tools and subjectivity: the (re) construction of self In Magioglou, T. (Ed) Culture and political psychology. Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishers, pp 27-48.,(2013)

Haste, H. (2013) Deconstructing the elephant and the flag in the lavatory; promises and problems of Moral Foundations research. J. Moral Education, 42(4), 316-329,(2013)

Haste, H. (2013) On taking subversive metaphors seriously: Culture and the construction of civic engagement. (Not yet in the public domain).,(2013)

Zhao, X. & Haste, H. (2012) Promoting democratic citizenship among rural women: A Chinese NGO’s two models. Berkeley Review of Education, 3 (1).,(2012)

Haste, H. & Hogan, A. (2012) The future shapes the present; scenarios, metaphors and civic action. In Carretero, M. (Ed) Understanding history and the construction of identities in a global world. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, pp 311-326,(2012)

Haste, H. (2012) Where do we go from here in political psychology? Political Psychology, 33(1), 1-10.,(2012)

Haste, H. (2011) Discovering commitment and dialogue with culture J. Moral Education, 40(3), 369-376.,(2011)

Haste, H. (2010) Citizenship education; a critical look at a contested field. In Sherrod, L., Flanagan, C. & Torney-Purta, ( Editors) Handbook of Research on Civic Engagement in Youth: New York: John Wiley, pp.161-192.,(2010)

Haste, H. (2009) What is ‘competence’ and how should education incorporate new technology’s tools to generate ‘competent civic agents’? The Curriculum Journal, 20(3), 207-223,(2009)

Haste, H. (2009) Identity, community and citizenship. Beyond Current Horizons, Bristol: Futurelab [commissioned by the UK Dept of Children, Families and Schools],(2009)

Haste, H. & Abrahams, S. (2008) Morality, culture and the dialogic self: taking cultural pluralism seriously. Journal of Moral Education, 37(3), 357-374,(2008)

Haste, H. (2008) Constructing competence: discourse, identity and culture In Plath, I (Ed) Kultur - Handlung - Demokratie. Diskurse ihrer Kontextbedingungen. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. pp 109-134,(2008)

Haste, H. (2007) Good thinking; the creative and competent mind. In Craft, A., Gardner, H. and Claxton, G. (Eds) Creativity, Wisdom and Trusteeship, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, pp 96-104.,(2007)

Haste, H. (2007) What is a 'competent citizen' and how do we create them?. In F Oser C. Quesel & H. Biedermann (Eds) Vom Gelingen und Scheitern Politischer Bildung Zurich: Ruegger Verlag,(2007)

Haste, H. & Hogan, A. (2006) Beyond conventional civic participation, beyond the moral-political divide: young people and contemporary debates about citizenship. Journal of Moral Education, 35(4), 473 - 493.,(2006)

Haste, H. (2005) Joined Up Texting; the role of mobile phones in young people's lives Nestlé Social Research Programme Report 3, 29pp,(2005)

Haste, H. (2005) My Voice, My Vote, My Community: a study of young people's action and inaction. Nestlé Social Research Programme Report 4, 37pp,(2005)

Jackson, R., Barbagallo,F. & Haste, H. (2005) Strengths of public dialogue on science-related issues. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 8(3), 349-358,(2005)

Haste, H. (2005) Moral responsibility, moral creativity and citizenship education, In D Wallace (ed) Education, Arts, and Morality; creative journeys, New York: Plenum Press, p 143-168,(2005)

Haste, H. (2004) Science in My Future: a study of values and beliefs in relation to science and technology amongst 11-21 year olds. Nestlé Social Research Programme Report 1, 29pp,(2004)

Haste, H. (2004) My Body, My Self: young people's values and motives about healthy living Nestlé Social Research Programme Report 2, 35pp,(2004)

Haste, H. (2004) Constructing the citizen. Political Psychology, 25(3) 413-440,(2004)

Haste, H., Whitmarsh, L., Kean, S., Peacock, M. & Russell, C. (2004) Connecting Science, London: The British Association for the Advancement of Science,(2004)

Haste, H. (2001) Ambiguity, autonomy and agency; psychological challenges to new competence. In D Rychen and L Salganik (eds) Defining and Selecting Competencies, OECD/Huber and Hogrefe pp 93-120,(2001)

Haste, H. (2001) The new citizenship of youth in rapidly changing nations. Human Development, 44(6), 375-381,(2001)

Haste, H. (2000) Sexual metaphors and current feminisms. In A Bull, H Diamond and R Marsh (eds) Feminism and Women's Movements in Contemporary Europe London: Macmillan pp21-34,(2000)

Haste, H. (2000) Are women human? In N Roughley (ed) Being Human, Berlin/New York: de Gruyter pp 175-196.,(2000)

Haste, H.(2000) Mapping Britain's Moral Values, Nestlé Family Monitor/MORI 28pp.,(2000)

Haste,H. (1997) Myths, monsters and morality; understanding 'anti-science' and the media message. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews , 22(2), 114-120,(1997)

Haste, H., Helkama, K. & Markoulis, D. (1997) Morality across the lifespan In W Doise and A Demetriou (eds) , Lifespan Developmental Psychology; European perspectives, Chichester: Wiley, 317-350,(1997)

Haste, H. (1996) Communitarianism and the social construction of morality. Journal of Moral Education, 25(1), 47-55,(1996)

Haste, H. (1995) Moral agendas, moral panics and moral education, In B Popovic et al (eds) Morality and Social Crisis, Belgrade: Institute for Pedagogy, 79-99 (in Russian),(1995)

Haste, H. (1994) Sex and dinosaurs. In C Haslam and A Bryman (eds) Social Scientists Meet the Media, London: Routledge, 84-92,(1994)

Haste, H. (1994) 'You've come a long way babe' Essay review of Carol Gilligan, In A Different Voice, 2nd Edition Harvard University Press 1994. Feminism and Psychology,4(3), 399-403,(1994)

Haste, H. (1993) Moral creativity and education for citizenship, Creativity Research Journal, 6 (1 & 2), 153-164,(1993)

Haste, H. (1993) Dinosaur as metaphor. Modern Geology, 18, 347-368,(1993)

Haste, H, (1993/4) The Sexual Metaphor, Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf 302pp [1994 published Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press],(1993)

Haste, H. (1993) Morality, self and sociohistorical context; the role of lay social theory. In G Noam and T Wren (eds) The Moral Self, Cambridge, Mass: M I T Press, 175-201,(1993)

Haste, H. & Torney-Purta, J. (1992) The Development of Political Understanding, New Directions in Child Development, 56 (Series Editor, W Damon), San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 109pp,(1992)

Haste, H. (1987) Youth Values Project. Research Report for Shell International,134pp,(1987)

Bruner, J.S. & Haste, H. (1987) Making Sense; the child's construction of the world, London: Methuen, 240pp,(1987)

Haste, H. & Locke, D. (1983) Morality in the Making; thought, action and social context, Chichester: Wiley, 251pp,(1983)

Haste, H./ Bristol Women’s Stduies Group (1979) Half the Sky: an introduction to Women's Studies, London: Virago,(1979)

Culture and Psychology

Journal of Moral Education (Chair of the JME Trust)

Political Psychology (co-editor)

American Educational Research Association

International Society of Political Psychology

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