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Faculty & Research

Karen L. Mapp

Senior Lecturer on Education
Faculty Director, Education Policy and Management

Karen L. Mapp

Degree:  Ed.D., Harvard University, (1999)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.495.0628
Fax:  617.496.3095
Personal Site:   Link to Site
Office:  Gutman 452
Office Hours:
Office Hours Contact:  Online Sign-up
Faculty Assistant:  Lee A. Marmor


Karen L. Mapp, Ed.D., is a senior lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the faculty director of the Education Policy and Management Master's Program. Over the past twenty years, Mapp's research and practice focus has been on the cultivation of partnerships among families, community members and educators that support student achievement and school improvement. She served as the co-coordinator with Professor Mark Warren of the Community Organizing and School Reform Research Project and as a core faculty member in the Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.L.D.) program at HGSE. She is a founding member of the District Leaders Network on Family and Community Engagement, is a trustee of the Hyams Foundation in Boston, MA, and is on the board of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) in Washington, D.C. From 2011 to 2013, Mapp served as a consultant on family engagement to the United States Department of Education in the Office of Innovation and Improvement. She currently serves as a consultant to the Family and Community Engagement (FACE) division of Scholastic, Inc.

She joined HGSE in January of 2005 after serving for eighteen months as the Deputy Superintendent for Family and Community Engagement for the Boston Public Schools (BPS).

While working with the BPS, she continued to fulfill her duties as president of the Institute for Responsive Education (IRE). Mapp joined IRE in 1997 as Project Director for the Boston Community Partners for Students' Success initiative, which focused on the development of activities and programs to familiarize parents with the recently established Boston Citywide Learning Standards. She was appointed vice-president of IRE in May of 1998 and served as president from September 1998 to December 2004.

Mapp holds a Doctorate and Master's of Education from Harvard University in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy, a Master's in Counselor Education from Southern Connecticut State University, and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. In 1997, she was awarded a Spencer Dissertation Fellowship for her research on how and why families are involved in their children's educational development.

Karen is the author of numerous publications including Having Their Say: Parents Describe How and Why They Are Engaged in Their Children's Learning (2002) and Title 1 and Parent Engagement: Lessons from the Past, Recommendations for the Future (2011). She is the co-author with Mark Warren and the Community Organizing and School Reform Project at Harvard Graduate School of Education of A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform (2011). She is also the co-author of A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement (2002), Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family–School Partnerships (2007), and Partners in Education: The Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships (2014).

Click here to see a full list of Karen Mapp's courses.

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