Senior Lecturer on Education
Faculty Director, Human Development and Psychology
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Richard Weissbourd is currently a senior lecturer on education at HGSE and at the Kennedy School of Government. He is also faculty co-director of the Human Development and Psychology master’s program. His work focuses on vulnerability and resilience in childhood, the achievement gap, moral development, and effective schools and services for children. He directs the Making Caring Common Project, a national effort to make moral and social development priorities in child-raising and to provide strategies to schools and parents for promoting in children caring, a commitment to justice and other key moral, emotional and social capacities. As part of the Making Caring Common project, Weissbourd leads Turning the Tide, a national effort to reform college admissions that has engaged almost 200 college admissions offices in promoting ethical engagement, reducing damaging achievement pressure in high school and increasing equity and access for economically disadvantaged students. He is currently conducting research on how older adults can better mentor young adults and teenagers in developing ethical, mature romantic relationships. He is a founder of several interventions for children, including ReadBoston and WriteBoston, citywide literacy initiatives led by Mayor Menino. He is also a founder of a Boston pilot school, the Lee Academy, that begins with children at 3 years old. For several years he was a counselor in community mental health centers. He has advised on the city, state, and federal levels on family policy and school reform and has written for numerous scholarly and popular publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, CNN, The New Republic, NPR, and Psychology Today. He is the author of The Vulnerable Child: What Really Hurts America’s Children and What We Can Do About It (Addison-Wesley, 1996), named by the American School Board Journal as one of the top 10 education books of all time. His most recent book, The Parents We Mean to Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development (Houghton Mifflin 2009), was named by The New Yorker as one of the top 24 books of 2009.