The AIW Institute partners with schools and districts to ensure that ALL students have access to intellectually rigorous learning experiences that have value beyond school. We call this Authentic Intellectual Work (AIW). Guided by the AIW framework and over 20 years of research, we help develop and facilitate collaborative teacher teams to analyze examples of instruction, teacher-created tasks and student performance.

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Authentic Intellectual Work: Three Criteria

The AIW Institute offers professional development that is …

COLLABORATIVE & REFLECTIVE … The AIW Institute brings teachers and administrators together, along with AIW coaches, to achieve the 3 criteria that reflect high quality authentic intellectual work. To accomplish this, we explore the following question within collaborative, interdisciplinary teacher teams: To what extent do our instruction and assessments require students to construct knowledge, engage in disciplined inquiry and produce learning products that have value beyond school?

COMMITTED TO EQUITY & CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE PRACTICES … We believe that all students should have access to rigorous instruction that has value beyond school - for them. This requires that AIW teams enhance their collective capacity to develop lessons and tasks that are accessible, relevant and engaging for students with diverse needs and backgrounds. Read more

RESPONSIVE & RESPECTFUL … We operate within the context of your school and are responsive to your needs. We respect - and build upon - the existing expertise of participating teachers and administrators.

COHERENT … A framework for powerful teaching and learning is necessary for instructional coherence across grades and subject areas in a school. AIW professional learning supports and integrates various initiatives, processes, and curricula including: RTI/MTSS, PBL, and PLCs. Read more


“Authentic Intellectual Work is the best professional learning with which I’ve worked. It gets right to the center of the interaction between student, teacher, and the instructional content.”
— Rita Martens, Iowa Department of Education

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