David Perkins

David Perkins received his Ph.D. in mathematics and artificial intelligence from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a graduate student he also was a founding member of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. David Perkins was Co-Director of Project Zero for more than 25 years and is now Senior Co-Director and a member of the steering committee. He is a Senior Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Perkins has conducted long-term programs of research and development in the areas of teaching and learning for understanding, creativity, problem-solving and reasoning in the arts, sciences, and everyday life. He has also studied the role of educational technologies in teaching and learning, and has designed learning structures and strategies in organizations to facilitate personal and organizational understanding and intelligence. These inquiries reflect a conception of mind that emphasizes the interlocking relationships among thinking, learning, and understanding.

Veronica Boix Mansilla

Veronica Boix Mansilla is a Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero. Her research examines the conditions that enable experts and young learners to produce quality interdisciplinary work addressing problems of contemporary significance. She brings together theories and methods in cognitive psychology, epistemology, pedagogy and sociology of knowledge to explore how experts, teachers and K-16 students advance interdisciplinary understanding of topics of global significance from globalization to climate change and migration. Veronica studies the development of global consciousness among youth in America, Kenya and India. Most recently she has worked with the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Asia Society to advance a definition of “global competence” as an important aim of contemporary education.


Ron Ritchhart

Ron Ritchhart is a Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero, where his work focuses on such issues as teaching for understanding, the development of intellectual character, creative teaching, making students’ thinking visible, and most recently the development of school and classroom culture. Ron’s research and writings, particularly his theory of Intellectual Character and framework for understanding group culture through the “Cultural Forces,” have informed the work of schools, school systems, and museums throughout the world. His current research focuses on how classrooms change as teachers strive to make thinking valued, visible, and actively promoted in their classrooms. 

Flossie Chua

Flossie Chua is a Senior Research Manager at Project Zero. Her work focuses on understanding how we can nurture good thinking and practices that develop the capacity for informed and positive action. Her projects involve exploring emerging practices of progressive pedagogies in schools, and the shared leadership structures in schools that support them, and innovative paradigms for visual artists and the arts to operate in relationship to their communities and the world. Flossie is also the interdisciplinary specialist with ART21 Educators, a nonprofit designed to support K-12 teachers to bring contemporary art, artists, and themes into classroom teaching and learning, and broaden their curricular focus to include inquiry into contemporary issues and questions that demand cross-curricular knowledge and ways of thinking through contemporary art. She holds an Ed.D from Harvard University, and is also an Instructor in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Mara Krechevsky

Mara Krechevsky is a senior researcher at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Mara has been conducting educational research for 30 years, including directing Making Learning Visible (MLV), an investigation into documenting and assessing individual and group learning from preschool to high school. MLV is based on collaborative research with educators from Reggio Emilia. Mara has worked with hundreds of teachers and administrators in the U.S. and abroad on creating powerful learning environments for children and adults. She has authored or co-authored seven books and over 30 articles and book chapters. Her most recent book, coauthored with Ben Mardell, Melissa Rivard, and Daniel Wilson is Visible Learners: Promoting Reggio-Inspired Approaches in All Schools.

Ben Mardell

Ben Mardell is the project director of the Pedagogy of Play, a collaboration with the LEGO Foundation and the International School of Billund, exploring how play can have a central part in children’s learning in school. Ben has been associated with Project Zero since 1999, initially as a researcher on the Making Learning Visible (MLV) project and helped co-author Making Learning Visible: Children as Individual and Group Learners and Making Teaching Visible: Documentation of Individual and Group Learning as Professional Development. After continuing his work as a preschool and kindergarten teacher, Ben returned as a researcher on MLV and co-authored Visible Learners: Promoting Reggio-Inspired Approaches in All Schools. Ben is also a professor at Lesley University’s Graduate School of Education and his publications include: From Basketball to the Beatles: In Search of Compelling Early Childhood Curriculum and Growing Up in Child Care: A Case For Quality Early Education. When not at PZ, Ben enjoys playing with his family and participating in triathlons. 

Jennifer Oxman Ryan

Jennifer Oxman Ryan is a senior project manager and researcher on Project Zero’s Pedagogy of Play (PoP) initiative. Funded by the LEGO Foundation, PoP is engaged in playful participatory research methods to investigate playful learning and what it means to embrace play as a core resource for how children learn in school. Jennifer has been with Project Zero since 2006, having worked previously on Agency by Design, the Good Play project, and Qualities of Quality: Excellence in Arts Education and How to Achieve It. Her current research interests include play, arts and maker-centered education, school/community partnerships, and professional learning communities. Jennifer co-designed and co-instructed PZ-HGSE’s online course, Teaching and Learning in the Maker-Centered Classroom, exploring the promises, practices, and pedagogies of maker-centered learning. She has published in various venues, and her recent book Maker-Centered Learning: Empowering Young People to Shape their Worlds was published by Jossey-Bass in 2016. Jennifer lives in Maine with her family of makers, ages 8 through 44.

Maria Ximena Barrera

María Ximena Barrera is co-instructor of the Teaching for Understanding on-line course offered by Project Zero. She is an active member of FUNDACIES and Vision Action, non-profit organizations dedicated to educational research and professional development for educators where she is the Director of Program Development. She has been working with Project Zero ideas for more than 20 years in different schools in Latin America and Spain, accompanying them in the process of implementation of the Teaching for Understanding and Cultures of Thinking Frameworks.  She has worked throughout Colombia with teachers from the public sector on a project called Teaching for Understanding for the Construction of Citizenship. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Florida International University.

Tina Blythe

Tina Blythe is a researcher and Director of Learning and Outreach at Harvard Project Zero. She is Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and consults internationally on issues of curriculum, assessment, and professional development.  Central to her research and teaching are how to foster learning, thinking, and understanding, for both students and educators, in face-to-face as well as online contexts. Collaborative inquiry and the collaborative assessment of student and teacher work are key focuses of her work. Tina is the author and co-author of a number of articles and books, including Protocols in the Classroom: Tools to Help Think, Write, Read, and Collaborate (in press); Facilitating for Learning: A Guide for Teacher Groups of All Kinds (2015); Looking Together at Student Work, 3rd Ed. (2015); The Facilitator’s Book of Questions (2004); Teaching as Inquiry (2004); and The Teaching for Understanding Guide (1998). 

Patricia Leon

Patricia León Agustí is currently co-instructor of the Teaching for Understanding on-line course offered by Project Zero. Since 1996 she has been a close collaborator with PZ. For 11 years she was Director of the Rochester School in Bogotá, Colombia, and founded the Colegio San Francisco de Asís, a PreK-12 school for poor children. The two schools, opposite in their economic circumstances, each benefitted from her work with PZ as she developed each school’s curriculum based on the Teaching for Understanding Framework. She is the Executive Director of FUNDACIES and Vision Action, non-profit organizations dedicated to professional development for educators. She has worked throughout Colombia with teachers from the public sector on a project called Teaching for Understanding for the Construction of Citizenship. In recent years, her work with PZ ideas has extended to many schools in Latin America and Spain.

Daniel Wilson

Daniel Wilson took over the Directorship of Project Zero in 2014. His research explores inherent dilemmas of knowing, trusting, leading, and belonging in adult collaborative learning. His work examines how groups navigate these tensions through using flexible language, routines, roles, and artifacts and is currently organized around three areas: (1) Professional learning in communities, (2) Learning behaviors in the workplace, and (3) Uncertainty and team learning.

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