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To gain expertise in a field is to understand and use underlying disciplinary principles. Too often students rely on rote memorization to solve problems rather than apply appropriate principles of physics that governs biological phenomena, that is, use principle-based reasoning. Students who rely on memorization can list the steps of generating an action potential or stomatal opening but cannot reason to a correct prediction when changes are introduced in the system, e.g. when a toxin is applied.
Building a successful and inclusive classroom can be complicated! Using two examples of courses I teach I will outline practices I use to improve engagement, growth, and achievement in our biology students. I will also share novel student-centered teaching practices I use to engage students in a large-lecture non-majors physiology course and how those practices have spread through my work with UW in the High School. Additionally, UW Biology has recently undertaken a new upper-division human anatomy lab course which I have designed and implemented this year.