About CPL

How can educators working within complex localized, national, and global education ecosystems respond to the volatility, uncertainty, rapid technological change, and continued stress they face? How can diverse stakeholders work to transform education systems?

Professional Learning is our answer.

Teachers engaged in professional, holistic learning experience.

The Center for Professional Learning (CPL) is rooted in sustainable learning principles, including the belief that we can get further together than we can alone. Improving teaching and increasing quality holistic learning outcomes for every learner requires the engagement of people and processes across a system. Good teaching is based on research and evidence, practice, and reflection. It requires creating environments that enable and sustain innovation and collaboration. Conditions that support well-being, cultivated through responsive leadership and policymaking grounded in ethics of care, are also essential. Collectively, these practices enable life-long learning and foster belonging within education ecosystems.

Professional Learning is effective only when managed sustainably.

Using our Sustainable Learning Framework, a practical set of five disciplines, or habits of mind, and 16 practices, we work with you to design and deliver on your ambitions. Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity are built in, not add-ons.

We offer a suite of Sustainable Learning services including for designing courses, developing micro-credentials, supporting facilitation, building communities of practice, co-creating content, and more. We specialize in delivering these services online and in blended and hybrid formats.

Our flagship program, the Refugee Educator Academy, is a successful example of our own application of the Sustainable Learning Framework on a global scale. Through this initiative, we support educators working in displacement, conflict, crisis, migration, and resettlement contexts worldwide.

We envision a world where education systems provide equitable and inclusive sustainable learning pathways that create an empowered educator workforce equipped to tackle evolving education challenges.

Our Approach

All of CPL’s work, including the Refugee Educator Academy, pursues this vision through the following 5 strategic actions:


for ongoing professional learning for all educators that is grounded in effective adult learning practices and rooted in the Sustainable Learning Framework.


in community, finding solutions to some of the most challenging problems in education through dialogue, co-creation, and critical reflection with educators themselves and the community members they support and serve.


courses, micro-credentials, communities of practice, and other resources that sustain the growth, learning, and leadership development of educators.


barriers to learning where teachers may need additional skills to meet the learning needs of marginalized and/or vulnerable populations.


the power of collective action for systems change and for well-being within educational ecosystems at local, national, and global levels.

Our History

The Center for Professional Learning was founded in 2016 by Dr. Diana Woolis, Director of CPL from 2016-2022, and Gareth Crawford, CEO of the Carey Institute for Global Good. In 2017, Diana and Gareth launched the Refugee Educator Academy, inviting Julie Kasper, CPL’s Director of Teacher Learning and Leadership, to help establish and grow this community of practice from just a handful of enthusiastic individuals to a community inclusive of thousands of educators and dozens of partner organizations and institutions around the world. This was just one of many critical instances when the Carey Institute served to nurture the concept and growth of CPL. Throughout its history, CPL has worked hard to advance the professional learning of educators. The following are some important milestones in that rich history:


The Center for Professional Learning was founded as the Center for Learning in Practice (CLiP) by the Carey Institute for Global Good. Its original mission was to transform professional learning across disciplines to build a more just and educated society.


The Refugee Educator Academy (REA) was founded as a flagship program within CPL. Since its creation, the REA has served educators in more than 50 countries on 6 continents, directly impacting thousands of educators, who collectively reach tens of thousands of learners.


The Center for Learning in Practice launched the Refugee Educator Foundations of Practice (REFP) Learning Community Pilot. A community of 114 educators in the states of Arizona, New York and Washington joined the Center’s inaugural pilot cohort.


June – RTI International finalized an evaluation report of the Refugee Educators Foundations of Practice Course. The evaluation was commissioned by the Carey Institute for Global Good.

December – CPL was acquired by Childhood Education International because of a closely aligned belief in the profound impact of lifelong learning.


The Center for Learning in Practice was relaunched as the “Center for Professional Learning.” A refined website and strategic goals were also identified to further define CPL’s work and stakeholders.