Faculty Take On Harvard Project Zero Course

Project Zero (PZ), a renowned research group, offers learning opportunities for International Baccalaureate (IB) educators worldwide to engage with PZ ideas either in person or online. (Photo by Susan Quinn)

Last summer George School faculty members, Meredith Alford ’01, Ben Croucher, Ralph Lelii, Colette Weber, Eric Wolarsky, and Melaina Young ’93, applied and were accepted as a cohort for an online professional development course titled Teaching For Understanding, at Project Zero, a program run through Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

“I am delighted to be part of this course because I wanted an opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues in an innovative way,” said Melaina. “I think a lot about what the future of education will be and what will be relevant to our students. How can we serve them well for an unknown future? For a world we don’t know? For jobs that may not have been created yet? How do we give them those skills? We are discussing these very questions through readings, online assignments, and face-to-face meetings.”

Project Zero (PZ), a renowned research group, offers learning opportunities for International Baccalaureate (IB) educators worldwide to engage with PZ ideas either in person or online. These programs support educators in developing learning experiences that help build the skills that matter most for students in today’s complex, global, and interconnected world.

The group is studying two texts, Future Wise: Educating Our Children for a Changing World, a book by David Perkins and Teaching for Understanding: Linking Research with Practice by Martha Stone-Wiske. The faculty members complete weekly assignments and meet regularly as a group. In addition to their meetings, they also interact with other cohorts across the globe. Their teacher, for example, is in Australia. The final project will be to design a course using the Teaching for Understanding principles.

“There are a lot of really interesting things about the course,” said Melaina. “As far as I know, I don’t think something like this, a group of teachers working together on an online course, has been done before, so I think we are breaking new ground. Our class is not just online or in-person, it is both, and we are interacting with Harvard and the world.”