GIVE

Dr. Christine W. Miller

Teaching

A major goal of my teaching is to provide a platform for learning that goes beyond the classroom. I encourage students to think and interact critically with the world around them.

I am very interested in developing Classroom-based Undergraduate Research Experience courses (CURE courses) to bring authentic research into the undergraduate classroom. I couple data collection with active content learning to create an exciting atmosphere where students are contributing to publishable research and the scientific body of knowledge.

I also teach the introductory entomology course, ENY 3005/5006 “Principles of Entomology.” Introductory science courses have traditionally relied on lectures and tests that reward memorization of copious facts, an approach that is well known to drive away many talented students. About 30 percent of entering first-year college students plan to pursue degrees in science, mathematics, or engineering, but only 15 percent of degrees are awarded in those fields. “Student centered” or “inquiry based” teaching approaches are known to simultaneously improve student learning and result in higher student retention rates, yet these approaches have been slow to catch on.

Whenever possible, I incorporate active learning in my classroom to ensure that the students grasp and synthesize the material. I make links between their lives and previous classroom experiences and the new material to enhance the learning process. I link small group exercises with lectures and classroom discussions to encourage students apply scientific principles and reasoning to real-world problems and cutting-edge questions. All the while, I encourage students to foster their innate fascination with how the natural world functions.

Research

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Assistant Professor, Evolutionary Ecology