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Give back to HGSE and support the next generation of passionate educators and innovative leaders.

Project Zero Offerings

PZ logoHarvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero (PZ) and Professional Education teams are collaborating to offer both online and in-person opportunities to engage with the ideas of PZ throughout the year.  To learn more about Project Zero’s 50 years of research into learning and teaching, click here

A limited number of scholarships will be available for these Project Zero professional learning opportunities. Click here to learn more about the scholarship criteria and application processes criteria and application processes for PZ online 13-week courses and other online workshop offerings.

Online Courses

The Project Zero 13-week, coach-facilitated, asynchronous online courses are research-based and grounded in day-to-day teaching and leadership practice — you can apply what you learn, as you learn. Educators can learn about and experience for themselves the many opportunities afforded through learning online and will try out the ideas explored in the courses in virtual or face-to-face classrooms. 

Educators participate in the courses as teams of 3 to 6 members and, as a team, carry out collaborative learning activities and assignments. These activities and assignments are designed to help participants learn and practice using Project Zero approaches for tackling the challenges that educators regularly confront, whether they are working with learners in face-to-face or online contexts.  In addition, teams participate in study groups with other teams from around the world to share questions, exchange ideas, and get feedback. A coach provides guidance and feedback for individual teams as well as for the study group as a whole. These interwoven opportunities for engaging with your team, as well as with the larger group of educators in your study group, facilitate inspiration and support, building an engaged online learning community of participants, coaches, and instructors.  

Although the sessions are structured and coach-facilitated, all online interactions in the courses are asynchronous. You and your team members can decide when to work on the course material as long as you submit assignments on or before the due dates.

Applications are currently closed, but we encourage you to explore the courses:

Which course is right for your team? Click here for an overview and comparison of all Project Zero Online courses.

New Modifications Due to the Pandemic

We have modified course content, the application process, and course completion options in order to support the many different and shifting professional circumstances that educators may experience due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Course Content:

Over the last two decades, Project Zero has developed approaches to online professional learning that incorporate core research-based principles about how people learn.  Through these online courses, participants have the opportunity to experience for themselves some of the pedagogical strategies and activities that support effective distance learning. In addition, courses have been adapted so that assignments can be carried out by both educators working with learners in face-to-face contexts and those working in virtual/online contexts. 

Individual Application Option:

Because the courses require teams to meet regularly throughout the course and to complete assignments collaboratively, enrollment in the PZ online courses has historically been open only to teams whose members come from the same school or organization. While preference will continue to be given to teams of colleagues from the same school building or organization, we also now accept applications from: 

  • teams comprising individuals from the same district or organization but not the same building or working group;
  • educators who form teams across districts or organizations; and,
  • individuals who have not formed a team. People applying individually, if accepted into the course, will be placed on a “virtual team” that includes two to three other educators who have also applied individually and who come from the same or proximal time zones. 

Teams with members in different geographic locations (or teams in areas in which social distancing is the norm) have the option to meet and complete collaborative assignments virtually.

On-campus Institute: Project Zero Classroom

The week-long Project Zero Classroom features research-based tools and frameworks that enable you to reflect on your teaching and develop approaches to instruction and assessment that deepen learning and understanding for all of your students.  As a participant, you will explore ways to enhance student engagement, encourage learners to think critically and creatively, and make learning and thinking visible.

Through a combination of presentations, interactive workshops, and small learning groups, you will have the opportunity to explore ideas and practices with PZ researchers, educators experienced in applying PZ ideas in their contexts, and fellow participants from around the world. More information and registration details will be posted soon. 


Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarship applications are open for the Project Zero online courses and limited scholarships will be available for Project Zero’s online workshops. Click here to learn more.  


Faculty Chair

Daniel Wilson is lecturer on education and director of Project Zero at HGSE. He is a principal investigator at Project Zero, a lecturer at HGSE, faculty for the Doctorate for Educational Leadership Program at HGSE, and the educational chair at Harvard’s Learning Environments for Tomorrow Institute, a collaboration with HGSE and Harvard Graduate School of Design. His teaching and writing explore the inherent socio-psychological tensions — dilemmas of knowing, trusting, leading, and belonging — in adult collaborative learning across a variety of contexts. Specifically he focuses on how groups navigate these tensions through language, routines, roles, and artifacts.

Project Zero Online Course History

Project Zero researchers began investigating approaches to online learning in 1998, the year in which PZ developed and offered HGSE’s first online professional development course. Since then, Project Zero researchers have developed a number of online courses (which from 1999 - 2012 were offered through the WIDE World program) that incorporate core research-based principles about how people learn. PZ gratefully acknowledges the generous support of 1943 Harvard College graduate Albert Merck and his wife Kate for their support of this work through its first 13 years.