Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching & Learning (CIRTL) Network
The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Network seeks to enhance excellence in STEM undergraduate education through development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing evidence-based teaching practices for diverse learners. CIRTL was founded in 2003 as a National Science Foundation Center for Learning and Teaching in higher education. CIRTL uses graduate education as the leverage point to develop a national STEM faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse student audiences as part of successful professional careers. The goal of CIRTL is to improve the STEM learning of all students at every college and university, and thereby to increase the diversity in STEM fields and the STEM literacy of the nation.
The CIRTL Network, a collaborative network of over 40 research universities, is advancing the nation’s preparation of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in teaching and learning. Since its beginning in 2003, CIRTL has developed, implemented, and evaluated strategies for preparing future faculty for careers that integrate research, teaching, and learning based on three core ideas:
• Learning-through-Diversity (LtD) 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.
• Teaching-as-Research (TAR) is the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods by STEM instructors to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of both students and teachers;
• Learning Communities (LC) bring together groups of people for shared learning, discovery, and generation of knowledge. To achieve common learning goals, a learning community nurtures functional relationships among its members;
Local CIRTL learning communities at each university are the foundation of the Network, with programming and connections that enable members to explore innovative and effective teaching practices. The cross-Network learning community also enables all Network future faculty to learn in the context of a diverse network that includes institutions of varying size, history, culture and mission. Finally, the leaders and implementers of the campus learning communities are themselves a Network learning community sharing resources, experiences, and ideas with each other and the nation.
The CIRTL Network is administered from its home base in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.