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CASTLE staff in front of banners

Our Mission

The mission of The Center for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence (CASTLE) is to affect institutional change in STEM teaching and learning across the educational spectrum by conducting, catalyzing and supporting fundamental research.

Our Core Values

  1. K-Faculty: Our initiatives focus on improving education across the spectrum from kindergarten through university faculty development, through programming inclusive of all levels of education and emphasizes faculty development.

  2. Interdisciplinary: Our work is interdisciplinary by design, led by an interdisciplinary team, and respectful of discipline-specific differences. We believe there is strength in working across disciplines.

  3. Stakeholder Driven: Our work is driven by the needs of and the efforts of our stakeholders. This is inclusive of the community we are building with faculty, students, administrators, partners, local community and national networks.

  4. Diversity and Inclusion: Our initiatives emphasize use of pedagogical approaches known to be inclusive of all populations. An appreciation for diversity and inclusivity underlies our work.

  5. Research Informs Practice: We believe in the use of evidence-based pedagogy, and in continually developing the evidence that particular pedagogical practices are effective.

  6. Addresses Issues of National Need: Our work is cognizant of the national landscape of STEM pedagogy and the current issues in STEM T&L.

Our Origins

CASTLE was founded in 2014, and is currently home to more than ten funded projects. CASTLE is housed at Drexel University, which has a long history of experiential learning and innovation in STEM education, embodied by both the Co-Op program and the E⁴ program, an NSF-funded, inquiry-based curriculum pioneered by the College of Engineering in the 1980s.

Recently, CASTLE has not only been successful in securing new funding for STEM education initiatives, but also in becoming part of large, national programs focused on improving STEM education, including the UTeach and CIRTL (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning) National Networks which encompass 78 top universities. These networks includes universities such as Columbia, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Michigan State, Northwestern, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Boulder, UT Austin, UW Madison, and Yale.