Harvard’s ‘Project Zero’ Showcases Conservatory Lab

Models of Excellence1 “What would it look like if students were to meet Common Core Standards with depth, integrity and imagination?”  This was the question posed to students at the Harvard Graduate School of Education by Prof. Steve Seidel of Project Zero and Prof. Ron Berger from Expeditionary Learning.  Fortuitously, two of our Expeditionary Learning student products, “What Snake Am I?” and “Get Your Blues On”, were chosen to be featured.  Each student in the class was asked to investigate how each product was made and then make a five-minute film that illustrated the work of the teachers and students who created that product.


HGSE student Sarah Zuckerman collected video and interviews from Jenna Gampel and her students in order to not only understand but also explain how the powerful experiences of research and revision combined to create writing and art that the students and the community are proud to share.  Her film showed students involved in research, both in the classroom and at the Harvard Museum of Natural History and also used stop-motion animation to show the process of revision in the student artwork.


Models of Excellence2 Our 4th grade classroom was the site of HGSE Laura Kanter’s research.  She interviewed teacher Rachel Cates, Resident Artist Chris Schroeder and student Arianna Rodriguez about the process of reading and writing poetry to both understand other perspectives and demonstrate empathy through artistic expression.  She used video of the student performance at the House of Blues as well as a montage of their poems and collages to illustrate how the Expedition encouraged the students to imagine themselves in the history and then reflect on their personal response.


We are thrilled that the work of these graduate students will help disseminate our best work around the country.