Developing teacher education for deeper learning and equity

Project funding

Supported by the Yidan Prize project funds

Education theme

Equity, access, and diversity

Learning/teaching methods and environments

Policymaking and systemic change




About the idea

More to explore

EdPrepLab is expanding its reach and researching equity-led teacher preparation programs that promote deeper learning.

How do we best prepare teachers to support 21st century learners? The EdPrepLab network is expanding research, policy, and practice on teacher preparation programs that foster deeper learning and equity, preparing teachers who can support each child’s social, emotional, and academic development in culturally responsive ways.

Dr Linda Darling-Hammond

Professor of Education Emerita, Stanford University; President and CEO, Learning Policy Institute


How do we best equip students for life in the 21st century?

Preparing teachers and leaders so they’re equipped to create school environments and experiences that meet all students’ needs—and prepare those students for work, life, and citizenship in the 21st century—is complex and demanding. In this pandemic and post-pandemic era, it’s even more challenging to re-engage children who have experienced learning disruption and emotional distress.


We’re living through an explosion of knowledge, along with fast-changing technologies, that have created a need for more powerful education. We need to prepare an increasingly diverse student population to learn deeply and develop the ability to understand and address complex concepts and skills, and then keep learning independently and working collaboratively with others throughout their lives.


To achieve that, teachers need to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to support students in “deeper learning”. This includes understanding the science of learning and development, and the ability to integrate academic and social emotional learning as they prepare students for a global society.


EdPrepLab aims to change the landscape of teacher and leader preparation

The Learning Policy Institute (LPI) launched the EdPrepLab in 2019, in partnership with the Bank Street Graduate School of Education. The goal is to develop and support new approaches to preparing teachers and help spread this knowledge to improve other programs across the country.


Dr Linda Darling-Hammond and the EdPrepLab team have a shared goal of bridging the gap between practice, policy, and research in education. They strive to promote deeper learning through an equity-focused approach to teaching that supports the social, emotional, and academic development of every child in culturally responsive ways.

About the idea

EdPrepLab aligns research, policy, and practice to strengthen teacher education 

The initiative currently connects 27 pioneering teacher education programs across 17 states of the US, supporting them to work more closely with school districts and state policymakers. The team fosters preparation programs that are student-centered and grounded in the science of learning and development—promoting these approaches through research, sharing effective practices and policy.


With prize funding, Linda and the EdPrepLab team want to expand the organization’s work. Part of that will include launching a study into effective teacher education for developing culturally responsive, equity-focused practices that support deeper learning.


Expanding EdPrepLab’s reach and making connections across the field of study

The team is actively seeking to expand EdPrepLab’s membership. They’re focused on institutions that are engaged in ‘high-leverage practices’—evidence-based, foundational teaching practices. In particular, they want to work with those keen to extend their capacity and the field’s knowledge base.


They’re also building on that knowledge base by expanding the content and reach of the EdPrepLab website and events. That includes developing and curating high quality curricular materials that support deeper learning.


To further develop the knowledge base, they’re building relationships with international partners to share resources and connect their networks. And they’re building on the work of Empowered Educators to identify policies in the US and internationally that advance best practices in educator preparation and sharing those policies widely.


Launching a study of teacher preparation programs that support deeper learning in culturally responsive ways

Building on previous research and the work of EdPrepLab, this 3-year study will extend the knowledge base about how preparation programs can develop equity-oriented teachers with the skills, habits, and mindsets to create and sustain culturally responsive learning environments. That is, those in which all students feel a sense of safety and belonging and tackle challenging academic tasks that result in deeper learning.


The study will focus on answering questions including: what practices and structures are evident in these preparation programs? How well-prepared do graduates feel? How do they put what they’ve learned into practice—and what helps or hinders them? And what impact do those practices have on learners in terms of their sense of belonging, confidence, and engagement, as well as academic performance?

Our 2022 laureate Dr Linda Darling-Hammond is using her project funds to support this project from January 2023 to December 2025.