About Us

We are a research group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education within Project Zero. We focus on topics at the intersection of cognition, learning, complexity, and sustainability. Much of our work has focused on how students learn to reason about causality complexity. We design curriculum, pedagogy, and reimagine schools towards supporting the next generation of learners in becoming climate knowledgeable citizens who think sustainably and engage in actions for the planet. Some of the questions that we pursue include:

  • How does human cognitive architecture influence how we reason about complexity in our world?
  • How can we help people to understand the complex causal dynamics of Plant Earth?
  • How can we educate learners to live sustainably and to engage in informed innovation and action to solve the climate challenges that face us?

Our work has deep implications for policy and practice. We collaborate with scientists, engineers, and teachers in our work to develop curriculum and pedagogical approaches towards better outcomes for the next generation. 

CLiC Project News

Annual International Conference of the Association of Science Education in Taiwan Keynote Address on Educating for the Planet

December 10, 2022
Research from the Cognition in a Complex World Lab was featured in a Keynote Address by Dr. Tina Grotzer to the Annual International Conference of the Association of Science Education in Taiwan. The talk focused on shifts in thinking that are necessary for educating learners to become global citizens who engage in sustainable actions and are able to innovate for the planet.

UNESCO Chapter and Follow Up Discussion on International Science and Evidence-Based Assessment

March 21, 2022

There will be a discussion related to a recent publication that Tina Grotzer collaborated on with a diverse set of colleagues for UNESCO focused on International Science and Evidence-Based Assessment that resulted in a chapter (2022) entitled, ‘Foundations of academic knowledge’ in Bugden, S. & Borst, G. (eds.) Education and the learning experience in Reimagining education: The International Science and Evidence based Education Assessment [Duraiappah, A.K., Atteveldt, N.M. van et al. (eds.)]. New Delhi: UNESCO MGIEP. The ISEE Assessment follow up roundtable...

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Maleka Donaldson joins Smith College Faculty and publishes her book!

May 26, 2021
CLiC lab alum, Maleka Donaldson joined the Smith College Faculty in Fall 2021 as an Assistant Professor of Education and Child Study.  Her book from her dissertation work, "From Oops to Aha: Portraits of Learning from Mistakes in Kindergarten" came out in Spring 2021. We are so excited for her and look forward to continuing to collaborate on areas of shared interest!

EcoXPT Curriculum is Available!

March 22, 2020

Thank you to the many teachers who tested our EcoXPT Curriculum. The curriculum is available for free download and classroom use. EcoXPT uses a virtual world to teach the causal dynamics of ecosystems and to help students learn the forms of experimentation and investigation that ecosystems scientists use to understand complex, real world science problems that exist on broad spatial and temporal scales. It helps them to learn the Crosscutting Concepts of Patterns and Causality from the Next Generation Science Standards.  Find out more at this...

Read more about EcoXPT Curriculum is Available!
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