Harvard Graduate School of Education

Daniel Wilson is the Director of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), where he is also a Principal Investigator, a Lecturer at the HGSE, Faculty on the Doctorate for Educational Leadership 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 explores 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. This interest is can be seen in three areas of current work:

Professional learning in communities: How do a variety of professionals come together to learn with and from one another? Currently Daniel directs the research of Project Zero’s “Learning Innovations Laboratory (LILA),” an interdisciplinary professional learning community that facilitates cross-organizational learning on contemporary challenges of human development and change in organizations. LILA involves top leaders from twenty global organizations such as the Cisco, Novartis, the CIA, Steelcase, and the US Army. Since 2000, LILA has conducted dozens of explorations into themes such as the emerging science of decision making, the future of learning, and leadership development.

Learning & Leadership behaviors in the workplace: How do professionals develop and deploy actions that enable learning in their everyday work? His co-authored book, Learning at Work (2005), outlines practices that support formal and informal learning in the workplace. From 2007-2011 he was a Research Fellow at the acclaimed innovation design consultancy, IDEO, in which he studied and designed interventions to enhance the learning and leadership behaviors in their design teams. Additionally, is currently co-directing the “Leading Learning that Matters”, a research project with 25 independent schools in Victoria, Australia that aims to document innovative school leadership practices that support 21st century learning skills.

Making Learning Visible: How can teachers and students create new forms of learning in which their identities and their knowledge can be made more visible to themselves and to others? Daniel was the Principal Investigator on the “Making Learning Visible Project,” a project that engages pre-k through highschool educators in adapting the Reggio Emilia pedagogical principles. This work will soon be published in the 2013 book, Visible Learners (Jossey-Bass).

Since joining Project Zero as a researcher in 1993 he has also participated on projects such as: Teaching for Understanding (1993-1996), Understanding for Organizations (1996-1999), Teaching for Understanding in Universities (1996-1999), Wide World Project (1999-2002), Project-based Learning in After Schools Project (2000-2002), and the Storywork Project with the International Storytelling Institute (2002-2004). When not working he can be found playing drums and percussion with a local band and enjoying his daughter and son, Ruby and Nicolai, with his wife and Project Zero colleague, Terri Turner.

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