Elizabeth Bonawitz

Elizabeth Bonawitz

David J. Vitale Associate Professor of Learning Sciences
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Elizabeth Bonawitz headshot
Elizabeth Bonawitz is the David J. Vitale Associate Professor of Learning Sciences at Harvard University. Her work focuses on the basic science theories of learning with the broader goal of informing educational practice. Her research bridges two research traditions: Cognitive Development and Computational Modeling. Specifically, Bonawitz’s empirical approach focus on the structure of children's early causal beliefs, how evidence and prior beliefs interact to affect children's learning, the developmental processes that influence children's belief revision and curiosity, and the role of social factors (such as learning from others) in guiding learning. Bonawitz received her PhD from MIT in the Brain in Cognitive Sciences in 2009 working with Dr. Laura Schulz. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at University of California, Berkeley with Thomas Griffiths and Alison Gopnik (2009-2013). She was an Assistant and Associate professor of Psychology at Rutgers University - Newark from 2013 until 2020 when she moved to Harvard. Dr. Bonawitz is the recipient of the James McDonnell Foundation Understanding Human Cognition Scholar Award and the Jacobs Early Career Research Fellowship. Her work is additionally currently funded by several NSF grants, the Caplan Foundation, and the Templeton Foundation. Her research has been published in top journals in psychology, cognitive science, and education. Additionally, she has served as Associate Editor for Cognitive Science (journal) and is on the governing board of the Cognitive Development Society and Children Helping Science