Study of Iowa High Schools (SIHS)


Dr. Eric Camburn, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis, UW-Madison and Dr. Peter Steiner, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, UW-Madison


UWSC conducted a pilot study aimed at measuring the impact of the Authentic Intellectual Work (AIW) initiative on teachers and students. Responding to recent calls to reform secondary education in the United States, the Iowa Department of Education (IDE) adopted the AIW initiative to advance both the rigor and relevance of teaching, as well as the learning outcomes of students in Iowa’s high schools. The AIW program engages teachers and students in intellectual work that reflects three criteria: construction of knowledge, disciplined inquiry, and value beyond school. The pilot study was used to test and improve all field procedures and data collection protocols to ensure final, production effort procedures bring high levels of participation from teachers and students, and high data quality overall.

The pilot study combined an in-¬school data component with Iowa Department of Education warehouse data. UWSC conducted the field activities for the data component in six high schools in Iowa, three that are implementing the AIW initiative and three that are not. The in-school data component has 4 sub-components: teacher web logs, instruction artifacts, student paper questionnaires and parent paper questionnaires. The full study involves the same components with 25 AIW-schools and 25 schools that are not implementing AIW.


Jaime Faus


Pilot: Fall 2015 – Spring 2016

Study: Fall 2016 – Spring 2017