We know that when teachers engage in equitable classroom practices, students benefit. But we don't know enough about how to support all teachers to learn these practices.
The Research Partnership for Professional Learning (RPPL) is a collaborative of professional learning (PL) organizations, researchers, school systems, and foundations advancing educational equity for our nation’s students by strengthening and building the usable evidence on teacher learning.
We’re transforming teacher learning and practice to ensure that all students—especially those from historically marginalized groups—learn rigorous content and thrive in equitable schools.
Why Professional Learning?
School systems across the country invest billions of dollars each year on teacher learning. These investments are well-warranted—teachers are the single largest within-school factor supporting student learning and socio-emotional development.
But, while we know PL focused on content, coaching, teacher collaboration, and curriculum materials can boost student outcomes, there’s so much we don’t know, such as:
- Time: The number of hours of PL focused on a topic or delivered in a particular format that leads to the highest impact on teacher learning.
- Content: The specific or pedagogical content knowledge progressions that teachers should work through to dramatically improve their practice and impact student learning.
- Sustainability: Which focus areas and formats of PL sustain impact on teacher practice and student learning long after the conclusion of the engagement.
- Scale: How to scale PL programs or models while maintaining quality and effectiveness.
With over 3.5 million teachers in the United States, the opportunity is enormous to advance teacher development and transform learning for all students.
Why a Research-Practice Partnership?
Establishing a research-practice partnership anchored by practice organizations, led by researchers, and supported by funders, fueled by a common interest in teacher PL, is a new and powerful idea.
We share a feeling of urgency to improve PL research for the benefit of our organizations’ services as well as for teacher impact and student learning. Collectively, the members of our collaborative have relationships with more than 700 school systems across the nation. These relationships will allow us to create productive learning partnerships, conduct PL research, collect comparative data, and engage in meta-analyses across organizations.
Who We Are
RPPL’s partner organizations share a desire to strengthen program design, results, and efficacy especially for historically marginalized student populations. The cross-organizational relationships and practices we are establishing will create the infrastructure for sustained learning in the teacher PL ecosystem for years to come.
Research Advisory Council
University of Pennsylvania
University of Virginia
University of Maryland, College Park
University of California, Berkeley
University of Virginia
Johns Hopkins University
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Connecticut