Event Details

Drawing on the collaborative research between Harvard’s Project Zero and educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy, this course offers educators the opportunity to learn how to document student learning in ways that both “makes visible” what and how students learn, and provide useful data for reflecting on and improving teaching.


Learning is social. Every day, children and adults learn from and with others, encountering new perspectives, strategies, and ways of thinking. Together, groups can achieve greater perspective and understanding than any individual can alone, but we need tools for sharing thinking and making learning visible to others.

This course will examine group learning through the Making Learning Visible framework, which began as a collaborative research project between Harvard’s Project Zero and educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and has since been adopted by thousands of teachers to promote group learning. Participants will explore how to use documentation to “make visible” both what and how students learn. Through observation, evidence collection, interpretation, and information sharing, participants will learn how to produce a record that students and teachers can use to build self-awareness and guide instruction. This course does not cover Project Zero’s Visible Thinking framework and the associated thinking routines.

What past participants are saying:

“I used to think documentation was just to give feedback on a piece of paper. Now I think documentation is more about the process while performing an activity—the tools we use before, during, and after.”

12th Grade IB Teacher, Mexico

“I used to think documentation helps make students’ thoughts visible. Now I think documentation helps learners understand their journey—they can self-assess and feed forward. Documenting students’ work is also a reflection for teachers to see how they have guided learners from what their prior knowledge was to what they know now.”

3rd Grade IB Teacher, India

“I used to think that collaborative learning was the result of teachers knowing their students’ learning preferences and personalities so pupils could be grouped easily to work better. Now I think creating and sustaining learning groups is much more complex and has a variety of variables that need to be considered. These do not only include a learner’s social and emotional needs but allowing pupils to form their own groups. If pupils are engaged emotionally, their learning experience is enhanced and extends beyond the learning of individuals to create a collective body of knowledge. It is important to remember that the teacher is also part of the learning group and to remind pupils that everyone brings something to the group experience as we learn from one another.”

Year 4 IB Teacher, Saudi Arabia

Course Details

This online course, originally developed by Project Zero’s Mara Krechevsky, was fully revised for the September 2021 term by HGSE Faculty member Steve Seidel, who led the Making Learning Visible research work for more than 30 years along with researchers Daniel Wilson and Terri Turner. The course begins with a one-week orientation, during which you will explore the online platform and get to know fellow members of the learning community. Six two-week content sessions follow, each with an average time commitment of approximately 2.5 hours per week, including a required, synchronous 60-90 minute team meeting once during the two week session. Throughout the course, educators will explore these core questions:

  • What does it mean to learn and to make learning visible?
  • What is my image of the learner? What’s my role as the teacher?
  • What does it mean to document learning, and why is it valuable to me?

Participation: Course participation is team-based, which promotes a deeper and richer learning experience and will help you sustain your use of core Project Zero ideas after the course concludes. Members will collaborate on team assignments. Teams are required to meet face-to-face or virtually once every session.

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

Team members must be able to try out course ideas with students/learners in classrooms, either virtually or face-to-face, or other direct learning environments with students. If you are not currently working in a school or educational organization, you will need a regular classroom context or a consistent group of students with whom you can try out the ideas you are learning throughout the course.

Online Course Schedule

Please review the course schedule to ensure that you and your team will be able to participate fully in the course, taking into account your local holidays and vacations. Teams can plan ahead for scheduled holidays and vacations and need to coordinate those plans with their coach.

September 2022 Term Schedule

  • Session 1 (Orientation): Monday, September 19
  • Session 2: Monday, September 26
  • Session 3: Monday, October 10
  • Session 4: Monday, October 24
  • Session 5: Monday, November 7
  • Session 6: Monday, November 21
  • Session 7: Monday, December 5
  • Course closes: Sunday, December 18

February 2023 Term Schedule

  • Session 1 (Orientation): Monday, February 27
  • Session 2: Monday, March 6
  • Session 3: Monday, March 20
  • Session 4: Monday, April 3
  • Session 5: Monday, April 17
  • Session 6: Monday, May 1
  • Session 7: Monday, May 15
  • Course closes: Sunday, May 29

Who Should Participate

  • Teachers, Teacher Leaders, and School Administrators and Leaders
  • Museum Educators and educators working in informal learning environments
  • Facilitators of Pre-K to Adult Learning

Required Course Textbook

The following textbook is required for participants in this course, and is not included in the course tuition. The textbook is available for purchase on Amazon or through the publisher Jossey-Bass — in both paper and digital format.

  • Visible Learners: Promoting Reggio-Inspired Approaches in All Schools (Krechevsky et al., 2013)

Course Designers & Instructors

Mara Krechevsky (Initial PD Course Developer) is a senior researcher at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Mara has been conducting educational research for over 30 years, including directing Making Learning Visible (MLV), an investigation into documenting and assessing individual and group learning in U.S. classrooms 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 to create 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.

Steve Seidel (Graduate Course Developer) is the director of the Arts in Education Program at HGSE. At Project Zero, he was principal investigator on projects that study the use of reflective practices in schools, the close examination of student work, and documentation of learning. This research currently included The Evidence Project, a study using student work as evidence of learning and teaching, and Making Learning Visible, a study of group learning and assessment in partnership with the Reggio Emilia early childhood schools in Italy. He recently completed Arts Survive, a study of the sustainability of arts education partnerships. His teaching and writing for the past decade have largely focused on arts education and the improvement of teaching and assessment across elementary and secondary settings. He also convenes a monthly discussion group on collaborative assessment for educators: ROUNDS at Project Zero. Before coming to the School, he taught high-school theater and language arts in the Boston area for 17 years.

Terri Turner (PD Course Revision 2021) began working at Project Zero in 1999 and is currently a Project Specialist on the Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn (LTTL) Project with Principal Investigator Ron Ritchhart. Prior to joining LTTL, Terri was part of the Cultures of Thinking (CoT) project, the Visible Thinking (VT) Project, and the Making Learning Visible (MLV) project. All of these projects share an interest in better understanding how to create environments that encourage critical thinking, and how to make these critical thinking moments shareable with learners inside and outside of the school context. Terri is also interested in how to assess classroom and school cultures, and how to evaluate changes in these cultures over time.

Since its inception in 2008, Terri has also been the facilitator of “DIG” (Democracy Inquiry Group), a Reggio-inspired critical friends group comprised of teacher educators from 11+ colleges, universities, and early learning centers.

Perhaps at the core of all of Terri's work with teachers, spanning from kindergarten through higher education, are two essential motivators: a philosophy of children as highly capable citizens and an excitement about ideas being provisional, meant to be revisited and revised.

Registration, Tuition, Discounts, and Scholarships

Tuition

  • For In-Depth Courses (6 sessions, 13 weeks), tuition is $595 per person registering as a member of a team, and $675 per person registering as an individual who will be placed (by Project Zero) on a virtual team.
  • For Mini Courses (4 sessions, 4 weeks), tuition is $295 per person registering as a member of a team, and $375 per person registering as an individual who will be placed (by Project Zero) on a virtual team.

Large Group Discount

For groups of 10 or more people, discounts are available. Email pzlearn@gse.harvard.edu for details and registration instructions. Discounts are not applied retroactively.

Scholarships

Scholarships are available for educators from qualifying organizations. Scholarships for the online courses cover approximately 50% - 80% of the tuition. Applications (link below) must be submitted and accepted prior to registration. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please do NOT register for the online course until you have completed the scholarship application and have been approved for scholarship. Those who register for the online course prior to applying for a scholarship will become ineligible for the scholarship.

With generous support from the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation and many individual donations honoring Project Zero’s 50th anniversary in 2017, Project Zero is able to offer a limited number of professional learning scholarships to support a range of schools, districts, and organizations as well as a diverse group of educators. These scholarships aim to support teams of educators and individual educators working in under-resourced contexts and/or with historically marginalized students.

  • In the United States, public school educators working in schools with a free and reduced lunch rate of 25% or more OR educators working primarily with students who attend these schools.
  • Outside of the United States, educators whose schools or organizations serve 25% or more students whose families meet the country-defined standard for low-income.
  • Scholarship applications must be submitted and approved *prior* to registering for the online course(s).

Apply for a Scholarship

Registration

Register for the Online Course

Deadline for Registration

For the MLV and VT in-depth courses starting September 19, 2022, the deadline for registration is Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at 11:59pm Boston Time.

For the MLV and VT in-depth courses starting February 27, 2023, the deadline for registration is Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 11:59pm Boston Time.

Please note: Space is limited. The courses may fill prior to the registration deadline.

Refund Request and Participant Substitution Deadlines

Requests for refunds and participant substitutions for the in-depth course September 2022 term must be submitted by September 7, 2022, and for the February 2023 term by February 15, 2023, both at 11:59 Boston Time.

To request a refund, submit a participant substitution, or to ask questions, please email pzlearn@gse.harvard.edu.