About Carnegie

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Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center. Improving teaching and learning has always been Carnegie’s motivation and heritage.

Our current improvement research approach builds on the scholarship of teaching and learning, where we:

  • Learn from each other
  • Improve on what we know works
  • Continuously create new knowledge
  • Take what we learn and make it usable by others.



The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is committed to developing networks of ideas, individuals, and institutions to advance teaching and learning. We join together scholars, practitioners, and designers in new ways to solve problems of educational practice. Toward this end, we work to integrate the discipline of improvement science into education with the goal of building the field’s capacity to improve.


We are community builders. We bring scholars, practitioners, innovators, designers and developers together to solve the practical problems of schooling. We believe that disciplined inquiry can and must productively integrate with day-to-day local efforts at improvement. We aim to close the research-practice divide in education. We are boundary spanners. We believe that more can be accomplished together than even the best of us can accomplish alone. We act as an integrative force, seeking to create networked improvement communities that can harness and focus the dynamism and energy alive in our field. We aim to realize educational improvement that is deep, widespread and enduring. 


Carnegie Foundation as INITIATOR

We hone in on “high leverage problems” – those that affect large numbers of students. 

Carnegie has a legacy of educational leadership. During our more than 100-year history, we have observed, studied and advocated for education improvement. Carnegie has always been an initiator, building new institutions for inspiring education broadly.

Today, Carnegie attacks problems that impede students’ educational success. We serve as the strategic initiator—bringing the right people together at the right time to wrestle with complex, difficult issues.

We know that teaching is complicated and we do not seek simplistic solutions.

Carnegie Foundation ignites an integrated agenda of improvement research and forms communities to take up the challenges these efforts entail. 


Carnegie Foundation as INNOVATOR

We test innovations on the ground. Once we understand what works and why and in what contexts, we communicate that information to enable others to make change happen in classrooms.

Carnegie Foundation gathers researchers, teachers, designers, practitioners, students and policymakers, organized as Networked Improvement Communities.

These communities of thinkers and doers invent new knowledge and approaches. Carnegie inspires these innovators to design, develop, evaluate and refine tools, materials, roles, procedures, data and other artifacts and information that will improve teaching and learning. Open educational resources—available in online collaborative spaces—provide avenues for sharing and feedback that sustain continuous improvement.

Carnegie Foundation embraces and advocates for an emerging science of improvement. This means taking risks, asking big questions, and being open to unexpected answers. It means disciplined inquiry focused on solving practical problems.

It means thinking deeply, acting concretely, while embracing the urgency of now.

We aim to succeed but we also know that learning from failure is a crucial part of the process.


Carnegie Foundation as INTEGRATOR

With our collaborators, we learn from each other, improve on what we know works and continuously create new knowledge. We take what we learn and make it usable by others.

In our changing world, education reform means something different to everyone. There are many ideas and many are worthy. Indeed, there is a cacophony of good ideas. But we also know that many good ideas fail in practice. We have to ask which programs, tools and services work well for diverse participants working in varied contexts.

We recognize the complexity of the education enterprise while continuing to advocate for specific, robust, concrete innovations that can and will work broadly.

Operating through Networked improvement Communities, we initiate, innovate and ultimately integrate and sustain new knowledge. Carnegie communicates this knowledge in accessible ways to those who can make change happen in their own institutions and schools.


Governed by a board of trustees, the Foundation is led by its ninth president, Anthony S. Bryk.

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