Structure matters: Twenty-one teaching strategies to promote student engagement and cultivate classroom equity

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The biology education community focuses a great deal of time and energy on issues of "what" students should be learning in the modern age of biology and then probing the extent to which students are learning these things. There has been increased focus over time on the "how" of teaching, with attention to questioning the efficacy of traditional lecture methods and exploring new teaching techniques to support students in more effectively learning the "what" of biology. The aspect of classroom teaching that seems to be consistently under-appreciated is the nature of "whom" is being taught. What specific teaching strategies might instructors, as architects of the learning environment in their classrooms, use to structure the classroom learning environment? This article contains 21 simple teaching strategies that biology instructors can use to promote student engagement and cultivate classroom equity. To provide a framework for how these teaching strategies might be most useful to instructors, the author has organized them into five sections, representing overarching goals instructors may have for their classrooms.

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  • Kimberly D. Tanner

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