CIRTL Core Ideas

The three pillars of CIRTL - teaching as research, learning through diversity, and learning communities

:  Enhance excellence in undergraduate education through the development of a learning community committed to researching, implementing, and advancing evidence-based teaching practices for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learners as part of varied professional career development. This aim is carried out through 3 primary mechanisms:


Teaching-as-Research (TAR)  

Teaching-as-Research is the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instructors to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of both students and teachers.


Learning-through-diversity capitalizes on the rich array of experiences, backgrounds, and skills among STEM undergraduates and graduates-through-faculty to enhance the learning of all.  It recognizes that excellence and diversity are necessarily intertwined.

Learning Communities

Learning Communities bring together groups of people from different disciplines for shared learning, discovery, and the generation of knowledge of effective teaching practices.  To achieve common learning goals, a learning community nurtures functional relationship among its members.

Download a description of the CIRTL Core Ideas