What is the Institute for Learning?

The Institute for Learning (IFL) works to ensure that every student – especially those traditionally underserved due to income, race, and language – has access to high-level texts, tasks, and high-quality learning opportunities to build the critical thinking and deep reasoning skills that are required for success. We believe that the way to achieve equitable and sustainable change is to focus on coherent, evidence-based learning for all educators across an educational system.

What We Do

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School Improvement Hub

The Institute for Learning (IFL) in partnership with the Center for Urban (CUE) Education at the University of Pittsburgh and Dallas Independent School District will serve as a hub for a network of 14 Dallas ISD secondary schools serving predominantly African American, Latino, and low-income students with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read more

Accountable Talk

Accountable Talk® is a particular type of academically productive talk that has been shown to improve student learning. For classroom talk to promote learning it must be accountable to the learning community, to accurate and appropriate knowledge, and to rigorous thinking. Read more about Accountable Talk.

Content Focused

The IFL's Content-Focused Coaching® (CFC) model maximizes the coaches' role as an instructional support for teachers in a content area. We take a systemic approach to supporting districts in using coaches effectively to advance student learning in ELA/literacy, mathematics, and science. Read more about our CFC model.


IFL fellows collaborate with teachers and leaders in schools on continuous improvement projects. These projects identify content-based problems of practice, determine their root causes, define goals and a theory of action to address the goals. Through the course of the rapid inquiry cycles, participants develop interventions and collect data to assess those interventions. Read more about our work with continuous improvement.

Professional Learning

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Designed around core concepts in each discipline, our materials apprentice students to read, write, talk, inquire, and reason as scientists, mathematicians, historians, readers, and writers.

Students learn to use an array of tools to manage, assess, and reflect on their learning. Our materials are designed to empower teachers to make instructional decisions based on informal and formal assessments of students' learning.

"The only way to achieve this higher level of skill and ability in the population at large is to make sure that all students, not just a privileged and select few, learn the high-level, symbolic thinking skills that our society requires. Equity and Excellence, classically viewed as competing goals must now be treated as a single aspiration."

-Lauren Resnick, From Aptitude to Effort