History of IFL

The Institute for Learning (IFL) at the University of Pittsburgh was founded by Lauren Resnick, an internationally renowned cognitive psychologist. She began the IFL in 1995 after leading practitioners asked her to help them ensure that all students have the opportunity to reach or exceed world-class standards. As a leader in the standards movement and Senior Scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center of the University of Pittsburgh, Resnick embraced the charge, assembling a team of expert practitioners and school and district leaders. They began by pulling together decades of learning research to develop the Principles of Learning. These nine principles are the foundation of IFL’s work and provide a common lens for analyzing and improving teaching and learning.

Shortly after the IFL was founded, Resnick asked Anthony Petrosky, a professor in the English department and School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh, to join the IFL. As an award winning poet and nationally recognized expert in assessment and instruction, Petrosky was instrumental in advancing the IFL’s work in disciplinary literacy, and curriculum and assessment design. In 2012, Petrosky became the co-director of the IFL in addition to continuing his work as the Associate Dean of the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh.

The IFL's work has continued to expand and grow in order to support the improvement of education and achievement of all students, especially those traditionally underserved. This work includes the development of leadership tools and instructional materials in each of the four core content areas—English language arts, mathematics, science, and history/social studies for grades Pre-K through 12. IFL combines curriculum design and assessments with professional development tools to build capacity to support implementation at the classroom, school and district levels.

Because of the IFL's commitment to bridge research and practice, the IFL has collaborated with and welcomed studies by numerous researchers including Isabel Beck, Richard (Rip) Correnti, Paul Cobb, Jane David, Robert Flodden, Linda Kugan, Gaea Leinhardt, Lindsay Clare Matsumura, Jennifer Russell, Christian Schunn, Margaret Smith, Mary Kay Stein, Joan Talbert, 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. We offer:

Since its founding, the IFL has reached millions of students in over 70 districts and 33 states.

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