bright designWelcome to the Next Level Lab!

The Next Level Lab, based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, brings together expertise in cognitive science, neuroscience, the learning sciences and innovative learning design and technology to address emerging and urgent issues in K-12 and workforce development. We aim to increase access and equity in developing mastery across the lifespan. The Lab is directed by Tina Grotzer, Principal Research Scientist and Faculty Member in Education. Read more about our team. We…

  • …mine existing research of promise that can improve learning and performance.
  • …research questions with the potential for high leverage impact.
  • …translate research findings to help the world use research on learning and the mind.
  • …innovate in the space of technology and learning to develop new visions for what is possible in developing human potential.

Our work supports a new vision for what learning can be. We call this Next Level Learning.

What is Next Level Learning?

Next Level Learning introduces important shifts in how education and the nature of learning are conceived in contexts for human development. It challenges notions of who learning is for and who is the primary driver.  We believe that even current notions of powerful learning fall short of what humans are capable of and of what we know is possible based upon research in learning and the mind. The main shifts that we call for are:

Engaged to Agentive

Deep Understanding to Deep and Flexible Understanding

Abilities-Focused to Dispositions-Focused

Learner-centric to Learners within Malleable Contexts


Why are we calling for Next Level Learning now? Click here to learn why it is so important now. You can also read more about Next Level Learning here. 

News from the Next Level Lab

“Your Network is Your Net Worth”: Revealing the Social Aspects of Transfer of Learning at Work

January 31, 2023

Learning transfer is the idea that you can apply knowledge learned in an educational setting to a performance context. Traditionally, it was considered a process or outcome that should occur as a result of learning something. More recently, perspectives highlight the role of an individual's motivation, the educator's actions, and the contexts' features in enabling it. While very commonly discussed in schools, very little attention has been placed on the role of learning transfer in a work context,...

Read more about “Your Network is Your Net Worth”: Revealing the Social Aspects of Transfer of Learning at Work

Awe and Meaning at Work

January 23, 2023

Elena is a gate agent at a large international airport. Most of the time, she is too busy with the hustle and bustle of daily tasks to reflect on the broader purpose of her work. Yet occasionally, when she looks at the flight pattern map, she is struck by the fact that she plays a small but meaningful role in a massive, complex system that transports millions of travelers all around the world.

Martin, who works for a landscaping company, spends most of his time outside engaged in challenging physical labor. Though the work can be difficult, he likes when his days...

Read more about Awe and Meaning at Work

Human Occupational Skills in the Era of Generative AI

January 16, 2023

In early December, NLL Senior Researcher Dr. Chris Dede gave a keynote speech at Empowering Learners in AI 2022, the third year of this international conference. ELAI 22 focused on the theory, models, and practical impact of artificial intelligence (AI). The keynotes and panels addressed questions such as:

  1. What are the theoretical underpinnings of AI adoption in learning settings?
  2. ...
Read more about Human Occupational Skills in the Era of Generative AI