Catalina Laserna


CATALINA LASERNA D.Phil. University of Cambridge, U.K. As a social anthropologist, Catalina Laserna, lecturer on social anthropology at Harvard University, brings a socio-cultural perspective to her research on the connection among culture, media, and learning. Her doctoral work focused on an ethnographic study of teaching and learning in and out of school in a peasant community in Southern Colombia. Motivated by her findings, Laserna participated in a Harvard-led project to enhance thinking skills in Venezuelan 7th graders, and later joined the Teaching for Understanding project at HGSE. Aware that electronic media were poised to reconfigure education she went on to work for five years on various technology-related projects at BBN, a research and development think tank. Between 1997-2000 she worked as a Development Associate at the Harvard Institute for International Development, representing HIID in Paraguay, El Salvador and Colombia on projects having to do with policy -oriented research that supported educational reform in the various countries. In El Salvador and centered on how to harness the potential of information technology to support institutional change at the level of the schools. At the Harvard Extension School, she directs the “Masters in Technologies of Education” and research on learning in distance education settings.