About Us

The Global Education Innovation Initiative (GEII) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education is a multi-country research-policy-practice collaborative examining relevant, powerful, and effective education in the 21st century for all students, including marginalized youth.

We support the development of global education leadership for 21st century education by conducting research on effective policy, practices, and programs; co-creating with education leaders and practitioners helpful learning opportunities, tools and protocols to advance engaging, effective, and empowering teaching and learning; and creating a dynamic learning network of global partners.


Our book, Teaching and Learning for the Twenty-First Century: Educational Goals, Policies, and Curricula from Six Nations (Harvard Education Press, 2016), is a study of goals of purposes in education as expressed in the national curriculum frameworks of six countries.

Our second research project, a rigorous analysis of programs that advance 21st century education in seven countries, is currently underway, as is our third research project, the identification and explication of 50 programs globally addressing 10 major topics pertinent to the 21st Century: Arts/Creativity, Civics/Ethics, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Finance, Gender, Global Citizenship, Health/Sports, Social Emotional Learning, and STEM.

At GEII, we focus on advancing the understanding of the way in which education leaders and practitioners in diverse education systems define and practice an education that is relevant to the 21st century.

Specifically, we are studying:

  1. How do educational policymakers and practitioners in various high performing and rapidly improving countries conceptualize and articulate their understanding of the goals and purposes of education for an increasingly interdependent world?
  2. How are these ideas expressed and put to practice in exemplary educational programs in these countries?
  3. What are the barriers and challenges as well as effective aids and supports to learning and teaching the 21st century competencies, in all contexts, and particularly for marginalized youth?

To answer these questions we have formed a research consortium with research partners in the following institutions: Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Educacion at the Universidad de Chile in Chile; National Institute of Education Research in China; Universidad de Externado in Colombia; Kaivala Education Foundation in India; Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economica in Mexico; and the National Institute of Education at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

At the Global Education Innovation Initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, our collaborators are researchers and practitioners who share the goals of advancing knowledge about what an education of quality is and how to support it, and who have the desire to find ways to impact education policy and practice in order to support the creation of high quality education at scale, in ways that can benefit all students, including marginalized youth. Our partners’ motivation to participate is to benefit from collaborative work with high quality institutions in various parts of the world.