Powerful learning for educators. Every student succeeding. Equitable change for all.

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

The Principles of Learning are a set of theory and research-based statements that form the foundation of the IFL's work and are designed to help educators analyze and improve teaching and learning for all students. Learn more about the Principles of Learning. 

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.


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.

"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


The mission of the Institute for Learning (IFL) at the University of Pittsburgh is to transform research into action, and partner with educators to give every student equitable access to rigorous, productive instruction.  The IFL is an outreach of the Learning Research and Development Center, and its services are strongly rooted in the decades of ground-breaking research conducted at LRDC.  The IFL is independent from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education and as a non-profit organization that only receives 5% of its budget from the University, the IFL’s primary funding comes from district contracts, grants, and donations. We ask that you consider supporting the IFL mission today. 


Join the Conversation

Tweets by @IFL_Pitt

Tweets by @PittCUE

Tweets by @LRDC1

Tweets by @PittSchoolOfEd