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Scott Gehler

Cell Biology

Editor Degrees

  • Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • B.A. in Biology and Psychology, Cornell College

About Teaching and CourseSource

During my time teaching, I have taught undergraduate students at all levels, including an introductory level cell biology course, Human Physiology, Cancer Biology, Nutrition, and various senior-level capstone experiences. Two general principles guide my approach to teaching. First, I challenge students to integrate seemingly disparate concepts by applying their understanding to real-life problems. By doing so, students work on questions and problems that are relevant to them as they ‘do’ the subject. Also, students learn to integrate information into a larger conceptual framework that is constantly being modified and expanded during the course in order to reinforce deep learning. Second, I attempt to help students develop interdisciplinary perspectives within and outside the boundaries of the biological sciences. Biology does not happen in a vacuum, so why should it be taught that way? Through forming connections across disciplines within and outside the sciences, students might better understand the ways disciplines influence and support each other. As a result, students can be equipped with the perspectives and skills necessary to be successful in a rapidly evolving and changing field.

There are so many ideas and options supported by the SOTL literature for instructors to actively engage their students in the learning process. However, it can be extremely daunting coming up with ways to transform and implement those ideas into a course. CourseSource provides intentional, innovative, and engaging activities that have been developed by a community of colleagues across institutions in order to promote active learning in the classroom and the laboratory.