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History of the AIM Center

In May of 2009, with the endorsement of Seattle Schools, Cleveland High School and the University of Washington inaugurated the Center of Action, Inquiry, and Motivation in Education (AIM Center).  This collaboration has resulted in significant learning opportunities for UW students and faculty and for Cleveland High School staff, students, and community members. The Center is located at Cleveland High School.

Cleveland High School provides coordinative and instructional support through Catherine Brown, Academic Dean of Students. Ms. Brown leads professional development work with the CHS faculty and serves as a liaison to the Cleveland community of staff and students.

The University of Washington provides coordinative and instructional support through Dr. Margery Ginsberg. Professor Ginsberg teaches courses at Cleveland and serves as a liaison to the UW community of faculty and students.

The AIM Center is committed to practice scholarship that unites theory and action for the ongoing transformation of urban high schools throughout Seattle.  To further this goal, Seattle Schools works with the AIM Center to support Cleveland High School as a professional learning laboratory for teachers and leaders. Purposeful ACTION is based on a five-point program of professional development that includes 1) creating a shared language, 2) strengthening collaboration, 3) collecting and using data, 4) supporting parent and community participation, and 5) building a school identity.

Since its inception, the AIM Center has supported several ongoing cycles of INQUIRY including 1) home visits focused on family strengths and “funds of knowledge,” 2) lesson design anchored in a motivational framework for culturally responsive teaching, 3) lesson study and other forms of instructional collaboration, 4) data conferences and portfolios, 5) collaborative “walk-throughs,” 6) innovations in family and community involvement, and 7) student leadership development.

is at the center of all professional development work at the AIM Center. The motivational framework for culturally responsive teaching (© Ginsberg) undergirds the professional development initiatives and has become a shared language across the Cleveland campus. CHS’s iteration of the motivational framework has resulted in an adaptation called the 4 R’s: Relationships, Relevance, Rigor, and Results.