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Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching

Cultivating Inclusive & Engaged Learning Environments

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Curious, Reflective, Evidence-Informed

We approach learning and teaching as scholarly endeavors by encouraging a curious mindset, a reflective process of inquiry, and iterative changes informed by evidence. We model openness to brave conversations embracing the discomfort that leads to growth. We connect educators to knowledge-sharing communities to fortify engagement and the pursuit of lifelong learning.

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Focus Areas

We organize our work as educational developers around seven interconnected focus areas. These areas highlight Searle’s priorities and our commitment to being at the forefront of emerging trends in learning and teaching. Each focus area page features an overview and a curated list of books, resources, guides, and relevant programming suggestions.

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Programs & Services

We engage with Northwestern University educators across all stages of their careers by designing leading-edge programs, interactive workshops, featured events, affinity groups, and community gatherings. We also offer expertise and educational thought partnership in individualized consultations and customized offerings for academic units.

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Guides & Resources

We closely examine trends in Higher Education and synthesize the research to spark innovative ideas and to showcase proven strategies for making small-changes to address a particular teaching pinch-point. Our Learning & Teaching Guides prompt reflection and offer an array of carefully-curated resources that are available to instructors at Northwestern and beyond whenever the need arises or time allows.

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Featured Program

Searle Fellows

The Searle Fellows Program is a time-honored Northwestern professional development initiative that recognizes and supports the great promise of early career faculty members who will make significant and long-term contributions to Northwestern University.  Since 1999, over 300 faculty have completed the program, cultivating a community of learning & teaching leaders who center equity/excellence through pedagogical experimentation, critical reflection, and joyful celebration.




Grading for Growth: Toward more humane, authentic, and trustworthy ways to evaluate student work

12:00 PM
This event (open to Northwestern University faculty, staff, and students) kicks off the 2023-24 Reimagining Assessment P...

Writing Your Teaching Statement: Generating Ideas

10:00 AM
Drafting a Teaching Statement can be a challenging process, particularly for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows ...

Writing Your Teaching Statement: Tailoring to Specific Contexts

10:00 AM
Drafting a Teaching Statement can be a challenging process, particularly for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows ...

What We're Reading

Recent reads we can’t stop thinking about.

It can be tempting to completely redesign a course when you discover an exciting new teaching approach or realize your current approach isn’t quite working. Education writer James Lang knows this temptation well, but he also knows that faculty rarely have time to completely overhaul a course. Instead, he makes small, powerful tweaks to his course design and teaching approach, which he shares with readers in the revised and updated version of Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (2021), a practical guide for educators looking to improve their teaching methods and increase student engagement using evidence-based, teacher-tested strategies.

Educator Spotlight

Each quarter, we will feature Northwestern University educators doing innovative work in the classroom. These shorts interviews will showcase their educational journeys, signature styles, and how their teaching has been shaped by their work with the Searle Center.

Casey Ankeny

Students' comfort and the classroom environment are so important for supporting a growth mindset.”

Casey Ankeny
Associate Professor of Instruction

Director of the MS Program in Biomedical Engineering
McCormick School of Engineering

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Keep up to date with Searle's latest events, resources, and opportunities for ongoing learning.

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