Research News

UW's King publishes article about Authentic Intellectual Work in education

November 10, 2016

UW-Madison’s Bruce King recently wrote an article titled “Authentic Intellectual Work and Project Based Learning: Why Gold Standard PBL Is So Critical,” and said the best way to improve and increase equity in education is to ensure curriculum meets the criteria for Authentic Intellectual Work (AIW).

Bruce King
King is a faculty associate with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and also been a researcher with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), where he contributed to studies focused on Authentic Intellectual Work.

The AIW framework has three main criteria: the construction of knowledge, disciplined inquiry and value beyond school. These criteria involve a student being able to draw upon prior education from different areas, synthesizing it and applying it to unique, real-world problems rather than a superficial memorization of facts. These tactics will engage students and remind them of the real-world value of their school lessons.

Research shows that students whose educators focus on AIW have higher academic achievements regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status or disability status. King says that focusing on education meeting the standards of AIW will help close achievement disparities for students based on characteristics like income, race and ethnicity, disability and language.