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CBE—Life Sciences Education


In this study, we posit that integrating design-based research (Scott et al., 2020) and nature-based learning (Jordan and Chawla, 2019) approaches in biology can lead to gains in holistic systemic thinking (Verhoeff et al., 2018), thinking like a scientist, and greater equity for historically unrepresented student groups. While such experiences can be achieved through participation in research apprenticeships and internships, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have a greater potential to impact a broader range of students. This paper invites not only the students to broaden their thinking to expand their horizons, but also faculty to broaden their design and implementation of science education. Similar to Wilson et al.’s (2020) approach of using modeling to help students build schemas for understanding and using core biology knowledge, we present a multi-week CURE in introductory biology for majors to develop systems-thinking and foundational research skills that lead to a significant learning experience for students.


Published in CBE—Life Sciences Education by the American Society for Cell Biology. Available via doi: 10.1187/cbe.20-12-0300.

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