UMD - Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (UMD-CIRTL)
Preparing future faculty who are both superb researchers and excellent teachers is a critical core mission of doctoral universities. For this reason, UMD has joined a consortium of 22 universities, the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL). The consortium seeks to build a national faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics that is committed to advancing effective teaching practices for diverse student bodies.
The CIRTL consortium began in 2003 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, as an NSF Center for Learning and Teaching. UMD’s Graduate School and Teaching and Learning Transformation Center partnered in bringing UMD into the consortium. The UMD-CIRTL co-leaders are Dr. Stephen M. Roth (TLTC’s Director of Outreach and Instructional Innovation and Professor of Kinesiology) and Jeffrey Franke (Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff of the Graduate School).
Three core ideas provide the conceptual framework for CIRTL’s strategies for preparing future faculty:
- Teaching-as-research (TAR) encourages using research to inform teaching and teaching to advance research.
- Learning communities bring together groups of people for shared learning, discovery, and generation of knowledge.
- Learning-through-diversity capitalizes on the rich array of experiences, backgrounds, and skills among STEM students and faculty to enhance the learning of all.
UMD’s long-running University Teaching and Learning Program (UTLP) has been revised to incorporate these core principles. “At the heart of the UTLP is the philosophy that teaching, like research, is a scholarly activity,” said Dr. Roth. "UTLP takes graduate students and post-docs systematically through exposure to and engaement with the three core principles."
“The collaboration between the Graduate School and the Transformation of Teaching and Learning Center,” according to Franke, “prepares graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to be both great researchers and great teachers.”
CIRTL Network universities currently graduate about 20 percent of the country’s new STEM faculty each year. UMD-CIRTL receives funding from the Graduate School, the NSF, and the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation.