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Jones Promoted to Full Professor

By Casey Bayer on September 6, 2017 4:16 PM
Professor Stephanie Jones assumed her new title on July 1.

Stephanie JonesStephanie Jones has been promoted to full professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was previously the Marie and Max Kargman Associate Professor in Human Development and Urban Education Advancement.

“From her work with the Making Caring Common project to her leadership as co-director of the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative, Stephanie Jones has been a powerful advocate for children,” said Dean James Ryan. “Stephanie’s high-profile research, which is influencing both practice and policy, is a great example of what we are trying to accomplish across HGSE — producing scholarship that directly translates into expanded and improved educational opportunities for all. I am delighted to recognize her tremendous accomplishments and excited to see the next chapter of her impact on the lives of children."

As a developmental psychologist trained in child development, prevention science, and social policy, Jones’ research focuses on social and emotional learning (SEL) in childhood and adolescence and on creating and testing innovative intervention models and strategies designed to foster competencies that help children become successful. Jones formally joined the HGSE faculty in 2008.

“A growing body of evidence shows that students learn more and classrooms are more functional when children and adolescents have the skills and competencies to manage negative emotions, focus their attention, persist in the face of difficulty, and successfully navigate relationships with peers and adults,” said Jones. “And we know that high-quality practices in social-emotional learning can make a substantive difference in children’s educational experience, and can serve as a powerful lever for transforming behavior at scale.”

In July 2016, HGSE received a $35 million gift from the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation to tackle unique challenges and opportunities facing early childhood education today. As part of the Zaentz Initiative, co-directors Jones and Professor Nonie Lesaux will be spearheading the Early Learning Study at Harvard, a four-and-a-half-year, first-of-its-kind research study to follow a demographically sample of three-year olds from Massachusetts in their early learning experiences.

Jones also serves on numerous national advisory boards and expert consultant groups related to social-emotional development and child and family anti-poverty policies, including the National Boards of Engaging Schools. She is a recipient of the Grawemeyer Award in Education and the Joseph E. Zins Early-Career Distinguished Contribution Award for Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning. She was recently co-editor of an issue of Future of Children focused on social-emotional learning and is a member of the Council of Distinguished Scientists for the National Commission on Social-Emotional Learning convened by the Aspen Institute.