Development of a National Network of Faculty Committed to Evidence-Based Teaching

CIRTL uses graduate education and postdoctoral training as the leverage point to develop a national 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 learning of all students at every college and university, particularly in STEM fields, and thereby to increase the diversity in STEM fields and the STEM literacy of the nation.

CIRTL Core Ideas

CIRTL’s mission is achieved through three core ideas: learning-through-diversity, teaching-as- research and learning communities.


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


Teaching-as-research 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

Learning communities bring together groups of people for shared learning, discovery, and generational knowledge. To achieve common learning goals, a learning community nurtures functional relationships among its members.