Project Zero


Project Zero, housed at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, began in 1967. Our mission is to understand and nurture human potentials –such as learning, thinking, ethics, intelligence and creativity –in all human beings. Our research examines the nature of such potentials, the contexts and conditions in which they develop, and the practices that support their flourishment.

pz today

Today Project Zero is an intellectual wellspring, nourishing inquiry into the complexity of human potentials and exploring sustainable ways to support them across multiple and diverse cultural contexts. Anchored in the arts and humanities, and with a commitment to melding theory and practice, we continue to work toward more enlightened educational processes and systems that support learners, individually and in community, to thrive in, reflect on, contribute to, and change the world in which they will live.


The Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation supports PZ professional development scholarships to build access and apply the PZ work for educators.

five decades

2017-2018 marked Project Zero’s historic 50th anniversary at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Founded by the philosopher Nelson Goodman and—facilitated by Dean Theodore Sizer—Project Zero was initially funded by the Old Dominion Foundation. The initial purpose was to carry out fundamental research on education in the arts.


Over the past five decades, Project Zero has continued its inquiry into the arts and arts education, while drawing together diverse disciplinary perspectives to examine fundamental questions of human expression and development. Research endeavors are marked by a passion for the big conceptual questions, a passion for close collaboration with practitioners, a passion for the interdisciplinary, a passion for the full range of human development, and a passion for the arts.