Tina Grotzer is a member of the faculty of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a Principal Research Scientist at Project Zero, and a faculty member at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her research identifies ways in which understandings about the nature of causality impact our ability to deal with complexity in our world. It has four dominant strands: 1) How reasoning about causal complexity interacts with our decisions in the everyday world; 2) How causal understanding develops in supported contexts; 3) How causal understanding interacts with science learning (with the goal of developing curriculum to support deep understanding); and 4) the public understanding of science given the nature of science, the nature of causal complexity and the architecture of the human mind.
Tina directs the Causal Learning in a Complex World Research Lab. Her work is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). She was awarded a Career Award from NSF in 2009 and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from President Obama in 2011. She is a Co-PI with Chris Dede on the EcoXPT and EcoMOBILE Project, funded by NSF (an extension of the earlier EcoMUVE Project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES)), the goal of which is to teach the complex causal dynamics of ecosystems to middle school students.
Tina was a program coordinator and teacher for 14 years, in the Arlington Public Schools, MA and at Poughkeepsie Day School, a Pre-K-12 school committed to child study and developing learner-centered programs. She received her doctorate and her master’s from Harvard University. She holds a B.A. in Developmental Psychology from Vassar College, having transferred from Dutchess Community College with support from Dean Colton Johnson through a program he was developing to build bridges for underprivileged community college students (for which she is eternally grateful).