About Us

We collaborate with educators and districts. We grow content knowledge. We foster learning opportunities. We believe that educators should have the power and resources to teach, and we believe that each and every student is capable of high achievement. We believe that every student should be engaged in cognitively-demanding tasks and learner-centered, talk-based instruction. We believe in equitable and sustainable change, and we build our partnerships on asset-based practices. We learn from students, educators, schools, and communities.


The Institute for Learning (IFL) was founded in 1995 by Lauren Resnick, an internationally renowned cognitive psychologist and senior scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh. It was created to help schools and districts provide opportunities for all students to reach or exceed world-class standards. At the time, the education community was focused on developing standards, not on ensuring that students could meet them. State policy makers and urban superintendents approached Resnick, a leader in the standards movement, and asked her to address this gap.

Resnick’s first task was to assemble a team of expert practitioners and school and district leaders who synthesized decades of learning research to develop the Principles of Learning. These nine principles are the foundation of the IFL’s work and provide a common lens for analyzing and improving teaching and learning.

Lauren retired as co-director in 2016 and our work has continued to expand and grow in support of all students, especially those traditionally underserved. We combine curriculum design and assessments with professional development tools to build to support implementation at the classroom, school, and district levels.

Because of the IFL’s commitment to bridging research and practice, we’ve welcomed studies by numerous researchers including Isabel Beck, Richard (Rip) Correnti, Paul Cobb, Jane David, Robert Flodden, Linda Kucan, Gaea Leinhardt, Lindsay Clare Matsumura, Jennifer Russell, Christian Schunn, Margaret Smith, Mary Kay Stein, and Joan Talbert; and organizations including RAND, and MDRC.

The Institute for Learning continues to work with educators in schools, districts, and states across the country to improve teaching and learning for all students. Contact us for more information.