Press Release

Research Partnership for Professional Learning (RPPL)

RPPL partnership to generate new knowledge ABOUT High-impact teacher learning

Learning agenda offers roadmap for transforming PD research and practice

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (August 31, 2021)—Today the Research Partnership for Professional Learning (RPPL) launches a learning agenda and call to action to transform professional learning (PL) research and practice. The collaborative of researchers and PL organizations will generate new knowledge on how teacher learning improves classroom experiences and academic growth, especially for students from historically marginalized groups. 

“We know that professional learning can work to improve teachers’ practice and student outcomes, but there’s more we need to learn to fully realize its potential to advance teaching and educational equity,” says Sarah Johnson, Vice Chair of RPPL and CEO of Teaching Lab. 

​​RPPL brings together Achievement Network, Instruction Partners, Leading Educators, Teaching Lab, TNTP, and UnboundEd, whose multiple learning models have been implemented across more than 700 school districts nationwide. The research team is led by experts in teacher learning and improvement at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, including Drs. Heather Hill, Susanna Loeb, John Papay, and Nathaniel Schwartz, with Dr. Robert Q. Berry, III of the University of Virginia advising.

“Our approach seeks to turn on its head traditional research about teacher professional learning,” says Hill. “Most experimental studies of PL look at the effectiveness of a single program. Through our collaboration with these leading PL organizations, we will be able to expand our understanding of the different design features that support adult learning and lead to sustained changes in teacher mindsets, instructional practices, and student outcomes.”

Laura Meili, Chief Impact Officer at Leading Educators, adds, “In the classroom, teachers know that ‘I taught it’ does not necessarily mean ‘they learned it.’ With Teachers have to check in regularly on students’ experiences and learning to inform teaching. Leaders of professional learning have a similar responsibility: to understand the impact of our work on teaching and learning and to improve it to support teachers and students.”

The partnership will focus its initial research on whether and how PL content centered on equitable teaching practices can improve student outcomes and classroom environments, and develop teacher expertise around high-quality instruction.

“Teachers are change agents who have the potential to transform classrooms, schools, and communities into spaces where students can thrive,” says Dr. Berry. “Their knowledge, skills, and abilities are critical to student learning right now.”

For more details and to read the full learning agenda, visit To speak with RPPL leadership, email [email protected]

RPPL is supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and others.


About RPPL

The Research Partnership for Professional Learning (RPPL) is a collaborative of professional learning organizations, researchers, and foundations committed to advancing the collective understanding of how to support teacher professional learning that leads to equitable student outcomes for historically marginalized students. RPPL seeks to identify the features of professional learning that dramatically accelerate improvements in students’ classroom experiences, well-being, and academic growth; and to generate and share insights that can guide other professional learning organizations to strengthen their program design, results, and efficiency.

Learn more Explore the learning agenda
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