About CPL

How do you accelerate progress to support educators and improve the systems in which they work that responds to the very real complexities they are facing? The deluge of demands facing educators today, developments in learning science, and the ever-increasing array of technologies require new ways to achieve learning goals.

Professional Learning is our answer.

Teachers engaged in professional, holistic learning experience.

The Center for Professional Learning (CPL) is rooted in the belief that teaching is both art and science. Improving teaching requires the engagement of people and processes across a system. Good teaching is based on research and evidence, reflection, and collaboration. It requires creating the environment for innovation that fosters work-embedded problem-solving.

Together these provide the basis for life-long learning, the foundation of human development and equitable opportunities for all.

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.

We also provide hands-on, practice-based training and support on using the Sustainable Learning Framework.

Our flagship program, the Refugee Educator Academy, is a successful example of our own application of these disciplines and practices on a global scale.

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

Our History

The Center for Professional Learning was founded in 2016 by Dr. Diana Woolis, CPL Director and Gareth Crawford, CEO of the Carey Institute for Global Good. In 2017, Diana and Gareth would collaborate further to launch the Refugee Educator Academy. 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 and 5 continents, directly impacting hundreds of educators, who collectively reach over 70,000 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.

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.


research about learning science and adult learning principles in relation to the professional learning of educators.


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


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


the relationship between sustained adult learning and effective, dynamic education systems and practices.