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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.




Writing Like a Teacher: Expanding the Audience for Your Writing

10:00 AM Rebecca Crown Center, 633 Clark Street
Join us in person to hear award-winning author and former professor James M. Lang, PhD, explain how to draw upon our har...

James Lang's Policy to Pedagogy: Evaluating Artificial Intelligence for Teachers and Learners

2:00 PM Rebecca Crown Center, 633 Clark Street
James Lang's Policy to Pedagogy: Evaluating Artificial Intelligence for Teachers and Learners Building upon arguments fi...

Winter Retreat

10:00 AM 627 Dartmouth Place, 627 Dartmouth Place
Come in from the cold with other graduate students and postdocs for a day of toasty conversations to spark your curiosit...

What We're Reading

Recent reads we can’t stop thinking about.

Stephen Brookfield’s Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher (2019) is a favorite book at the Searle Center. Brookfield’s encouragement to engage in teaching as an iterative process through which instructors continuously reflect on their teaching practices directly aligns with Searle’s ongoing mission to advance learning for everyone. Brookfield delineates four primary lenses for instructors to apply to their critical self-reflection: their students’ eyes, their peers’ perceptions, their personal experiences, and the theory and research of teaching and learning. By uncovering–and revising when needed–assumptions in our approaches to teaching, we can become more critically reflective instructors, allowing us to better understand how a variety of audiences may view, be impacted by, or understand those approaches.

Educator Spotlight

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

KB Dennis Meade

I am committed to a certain kind of truth telling around learning. I draw on all my black feminist ancestors about this kind of truth telling and pulling the veil back from the systems that we've become so indoctrinated in that force us into these small containers about who we are.”

KB Dennis Meade

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies with a
courtesy appointment in the Department of African American Studies

Read the interview.

2023–2024 Grad Student & Postdoc Brochure

The Searle Center is on a mission to enhance undergraduate education at Northwestern University. We enthusiastically work alongside the next generation of faculty to develop their teaching practices so they can facilitate deep learning and advance educational equity at Northwestern and beyond.

We have created a digital brochure outlining the educational activities and resources we offer to graduate students and postdocs—a one-stop-shop for grad students, postdocs, and their advisers to envision how educational development compliments degree programs and responsibilities.

Our array of flexible programming is designed to fit every schedule, allowing grad students and postdocs to feel confident in the classroom and on the job market while making timely progress toward their degrees.

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