Previous Events

IFL Forum 2022: Practices andResources Toward More Equitable Instruction - May 4th, 2022. Register at

Join us to examine ways in which we can inspire, foster, and sustain high-level, more equitable instruction for every student.

Our Keynote speaker, Dr. Valerie Kinloch, the National Council of Teachers of English President and Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, will be addressing justice in schools. Complimentary copies of her newest book will be provided for all attendees. In addition, IFL Mathematics and ELA fellows will lead innovative new sessions on differentiation and on coaching for more equitable instructional practice.

Leaders Online Forum 2021

Centering Student & Teacher Voice in the Equity Agenda
 June 9 – June 11, 2021

The 2021 Leaders Online Forum brought together students and teachers working to co-construct learning experiences around race and racism, workshops designed to help us learn to improve incorporating teacher and student voice in curriculum design, and reflective work to help us understand how our cultural and racial histories influence how we interact with students and peers today.

University Times University of Pittsburgh

Online instruction has made education inequities more clear
Thursday, June 11, 2020

Amanda Godley, a professor in the School of Education and associate in the Learning Research and Development Center, kicked off the Institute for Learning’s Leaders Forum last week with a very timely talk about what teachers have learned during this period of forced online instruction and howthat plays into equity issues.

Rosita Apodaca, executive director of the Institute for Learning, said the pandemic has made education inequities even more clear.

Leaders Online Forum 2020

Getting Better @ Getting Better: Equity, Empathy & Education for Today’s Students
June 2 – June 5, 2020

Reflecting on the changing needs of our communities, the Institute for Learning hosted an online conference to present keynote speakers, roundtable discussions, and workshops that continue to expand and deepen our dialogue on key issues, as well as the new challenges that are presented in transitioning education to online delivery methods.

COVE in Mathematics

Content Overlapping Verbal-language and Efficacy in Mathematics
September 17, 2019

Math is everywhere! Early learning experiences shape not only students’ mathematical thinking, but also their thinking about what mathematics is. IFL mathematics fellows developed COVE based on years of research about teaching and learning in early childhood. COVE is designed to support educators in assessing and advancing children’s thinking and reasoning in mathematics. Join the Institute for Learning on September 17, 2019, in Kenosha, WI, for a mathematics workshop designed for early learning educators to explore the ways content understanding overlaps acquisition and development of verbal-language skills and self-efficacy.

IFL 2019 Leader Summit

Achieving the Promise of Instructional Equity through Improvement Science
June 4-6, 2019

What does it take to deliver on the promise of equal access and responsive high-quality instruction to ensure every student is ready for the world? Collaborate with us and other school leaders to puzzle through this question at the 2019 IFL Leader Summit. The summit is designed for you and your team to learn about and use improvement science as a means for leading meaningful change. Through the use of protocols and tools, you will examine your organizational assets and problems of practice in regards to equitable instructional opportunities. Together using an inquiry stance, we will work to understand the ways in which the relationship among educator content knowledge, pedagogical practices, and student thinking can serve as the fulcrum for tipping classrooms toward being more inviting, equitable, and rigorous learning environments.

Learning Forward 2018 Annual Conference | Dallas, TX

Building Comprehension Muscle for English Learners
Sara DeMartino, Rosita Apodaca
December 5, 2018, 7:45-10:45 AM

This research-based interactive session will engage participants in building an understanding of the features of complex and engaging texts for English learner students, including what makes a text rich and worthy of study. Participants will experience selecting and evaluating texts and crafting a comprehension lesson that utilizes questioning and vocabulary instruction to build a foundation to support additional analysis and interpretation work.

Learning Forward 2018 Annual Conference | Dallas, TX

Professional Learning Through Curriculum: Promise of Educative Curriculum
Sara DeMartino, Allison Escher,
Jacob Minsinger
December 4, 8:30-11:30 AM

Most curricula are designed to promote student learning, but what if we also designed curricula to enhance teacher learning? Learn the features of educative curriculum, how it differs from typical fare, and how it can be a vehicle for school and district improvement. You’ll have the opportunity to compare educative and non-educative curriculum, hear a teacher’s experience with educative curricula, and try your hand at developing your own educative lessons.

Learning Forward 2018 Annual Conference | Dallas, TX

Continuous Improvement: An Introduction to Root Cause Analysis
Allison Escher, Kerri Messler
December 4, 3:30-5:30 PM

Learn how to determine the root causes of district and school problems of practice by experiencing an important part of continuous improvement: root cause analysis. Engage in an interactive case study where we study one district’s problem of practice by examining summative and formative data. Create a driver diagram to best understand how to make decisions and changes that improve student learning and achievement.

Learning Forward 2018 Annual Conference | Dallas, TX

Coaching, Planning, and Video Artifacts Within a System
Victoria Bill, Dena Zook-Howell,
Rosita Apodaca
December 1, 2018, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Planning for instruction and conferring are at the heart of content-focused coaching-the time during which two professionals collaboratively study artifacts of practice to glean insights that advance pedagogy. Research studies show evidence of the effectiveness of IFL’s Content-Focused Coaching program in increasing student achievement. English learners demonstrated even larger gains than their native English-speaking classmates. Join us to study key coaching practices that lay the groundwork for deep and specific planning conferences.

Learning Forward 2018 Annual Conference | Dallas, TX

Tools and Training: Leveraging Video for Powerful Coaching Conversations
Annine Crystal, Dena Zook-Howell
December 3, 2018, 9:30-11:30 AM

Learn how structures, tools, and technology are combined to prepare school-based coaches to enhance their coaching cycles using videos of lessons as a powerful artifact of practice. Witness how one coach-initiated video-as-catalyst in her school to assist teachers’ study and facilitation of rigorous text discussion. Engage in analysis of coach-teacher conferring based on video, examine coaching tools, and practice coaching moves that foster collaboration and reflection. Leave with knowledge of how to use video to leverage powerful coaching conversations.

Coherence, Continuous Improvement and Agency: Building Better Systems to Support Diverse Learners

May 8-11, 2018

Improving learning opportunities and ensuring equity and access to quality teaching for every student begins with creating a coherent, system-wide vision of instruction and learning. The 2018 IFL National Conference will engage educational leaders from across the country in conversations built around the coherence needed in systems to bring about school improvement for a diverse student population, which includes a focus on the development of student and teacher agency. We will provide opportunities for leaders to engage in sessions to thoughtfully examine how districts identify problems of practice and implement and refine solutions that consider and benefit every student and the rich experiences they bring with them into the classroom.

Creating Interactive Learning Experiences in Texas Classrooms

November 2017-March 2018

Since 1995, the Institute for Learning has partnered with Texas school districts to work together in improving the education and achievement of all students – especially students of color and English learners. In fact, research has shown that IFL programs and materials not only increase student achievement, but also that English learners showed even larger gains than their native English-speaking classmates.

Developing an Essay Writing Repertoire

October 4-5, 2017

This two-day professional learning experience emphasizes the importance of building students’ writing repertoires so that they are able to write in flexible and effective ways. Throughout these two days, teachers develop ways to bring authenticity to student writing by expanding their notions about essay format, understand the role of mentor texts and the important role they play in writing instruction, and use mentor texts (both professional and student written) as learning tools. Teachers will leave this session with a toolkit to increase authenticity in student writing and for supporting students’ revision.