Tina Grotzer


Professional Title: 
Associate Professor
About Me (Bio): 
Tina A. Grotzer is an Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a Principal Investigator at Harvard Project Zero, and a faculty member at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. She directs the Understandings of Consequence Project, funded by the National Science Foundation. She studies learning at the intersection of cognitive science and education and focuses on how people reason about causal complexity. She studies the kinds of default assumptions that people typically make when learning new complex scientific information and how to best frame scientific research for public understanding.
Harvard University

This project focuses on how children learn to reason about three aspects of complex causality; probabilistic causation; action at a distance; and distributed causality;and how to best support the development of this reasoning in classrooms. Through microgenetic study across the school year with small numbers of students in grades K-6, the study will characterize children's reasoning at different ages and how it shifts over time and with different learning supports.

Harvard University, Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE)

Researchers are studying whether middle school instruction about ecosystem science can be made more engaging and effective by combining immersion experiences in virtual ecosystems with immersion experiences in real ecosystems infused with virtual resources. Project personnel are developing a set of learning resources for deployment by mobile broadband devices that provide students with virtual access to information and simulations while working in the field.

Harvard University

This project will develop a modified virtual world and accompanying curriculum for middle school students to help them learn to more deeply understand ecosystems patterns and the strengths and limitations of experimentation in ecosystems science. The project will build upon a computer world called EcoMUVE, a Multi-User Virtual Environment or MUVE, and will develop ways for students to conduct experiments within the virtual world and to see the results of those experiments.

Harvard University

This project produced and is testing a website with tools to help teachers identify when students’ science learning may be limited by how they construe the underlying causal structure of the concepts. It demonstrates students’ difficulties and a pedagogical approach to help them recast their explanations to align them with the causal structure in the scientifically accepted explanations. The site focuses on middle school with in-depth examples in density and ecosystems.