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What and how should students learn to thrive in today’s complex world? What education will matter most to the lives they are likely to lead?   Some schools aspire to develop learners who are active and empathetic citizens. Others encourage complex reasoning or creativity. Leading progressive visions of what matters invites educators to reflect critically on the purposes of education in today’s world, engage in community discussions about the content and skills needed to achieve those purposes, and consider carefully the evidence that demonstrates such achievement.


This conference will highlight research and practices aimed to enrich essential thinking and learning for the world of today and tomorrow.  For several decades, Project Zero (PZ) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education has led research and worked with educators in Victoria and throughout the world on developing approaches to learning and thinking that matter.  Participants in this event will learn from PZ researchers and educational practitioners through exploring tools, strategies, and frameworks. Conference attendees will participate in both large and small group sessions that will address one or more of the following themes of PZ research:


  • Leading Learning & Change  What does it look like when schools develop visions and pedagogies that support “learning that matters” – knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are long-lasting and distinctive?  When supporting change in schools, how do leaders turn ideas into action? 

  • Promoting Civic Engagement  What knowledge and skills are necessary for generative participation in today’s democratic societies? How can educators create meaningful opportunities to empower local and global citizenship?

  • Creating a Culture of Thinking  Piloted with Bialik College in Melbourne, this project considers questions such as: How can learners be supported to develop dispositions that support thoughtful learning across school subjects? Why is it important to make thinking visible?

  • Developing Agency by Design  How do young people develop a sense of agency by engaging in designing, making, and creating experiences?

  • Growing Up in the Digital Age  What are the civic, moral, and ethical opportunities and challenges afforded by the digital age? How are the meanings of local and global citizenship and civic action shifting?

  • Making Learning Visible  How do we document and assess student and teacher learning in order to further our own learning? How can Reggio-inspired pedagogies support thoughtful learning across school subjects and ages?


Since 2010, Project Zero has convened high-quality professional development conferences in cities around the globe. The PZ team includes leading researchers, writers, and thinkers in the field of teaching and learning. Their interests include investigations into the nature of intelligence, understanding, thinking, creativity, ethics and other essential aspects of human learning. PZ conferences have proven to be transformative for teachers and have direct, practical, and powerful application in the classroom.  The conference is produced in association with the Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education (CASIE). Educators from all contexts, all grade levels, and all subjects are invited to learn from and alongside world-renowned Project Zero researchers and practitioners using PZ ideas and frameworks in their settings.  


The two-day event will be generously hosted at St Leonard’s College, a school that has been working with PZ ideas for several years, located in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton East.