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Introduction to SOTL


The movement now amounting to an international trend called ‘the scholarship of teaching and learning’ rests on a broadening of the understanding of scholarship developed first by Boyer (1990), and subsequently by a number of scholars in North America and beyond. The concept is based on the idea of the intellectual and academic value of all interconnected forms of academic work: scholarship of discovery, integration, application and teaching (Boyer 1990, 16-25).

In the most widespread understanding, at the heart of scholarship of teaching and learning process is a formulation of a problem related to teaching in practice, leading to an enquiry aimed at improving student learning. As stated by Randy Bass ‘it takes a deliberate act to look at teaching from the perspective of student learning’ (Bass 1998, 6). Some scholars distinguish between the practice of scholarly teaching and subsequent scholarship of teaching as either an outcome of scholarly teaching or another level of engagement (Richlin 2001). Others prefer the concept to encompass many issues, levels of engagement and approaches related to the actual classroom practice and wider issues that impact that practice and student learning (Huber and Hutchings, 2005). Kreber (2007, 3) states that scholarship of teaching is about creating authentic practice of engagement with student learning where ‘scholars of teaching and learning explore how to create the vital connection between themselves and the ‘subject’, themselves and students, and students and the ‘subject’.

Shulman (1998) pointed out that the beginnings of the movement to transform teaching into scholarship are concerned with the invention of new genres to document this scholarship, a need for transformation of scholarly communities to engage in it, the need for new disciplinary discourses and texts to communicate the outcomes of this scholarship. By 2007 we have witnessed some of these developments, and more are taking place (see for example Hutchings 2007, Huber and Hutchings 2005). There is an International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) with hundreds of members, several annual conferences gathering anything between 100-800 participants occurring on several continents, there are workshops and writing residencies or institutes, and, most importantly, many ‘regular’ faculty engaging in some form of inquiry into their own teaching and their students learning. In many campuses and institutions or disciplinary associations the products of this work are becoming valued and rewarded as part of career progression alongside regular research (scholarship of discovery) though the developments are still very uneven between institutions, disciplines and educational systems.

Below are some of the sources quoted in this brief introduction and others that might provide a starting point for further reading:

Andresen, L. W. (2000) ‘A Usable, Trans-Disciplinary Conception of Scholarship’, Education Research and Development, Vol. 19. No. 2, pp. 137- 153.

Boyer, E. (1990) Scholarship Reconsidered, (Washington DC, Carnegie Foundation)

Bass, R. (1998) The Scholarship of Teaching: what’s the problem’, Inventio, Department of Instructional Improvement and Instructional Technologies, George Mason University.pp.1-9. Available at: http://www.sportsperformance.org/electronic_portfolio/Docs/
scholarship_of_teaching_whats_wrong-bass.pdf

Coate, K., Barnett, R., Williams, G. (2001) ‘Relationship Between Teaching and Research in Higher Education in England’ Higher Education Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 2, pp. 158-178.

Huber, M., & Hutchings, P. (2005). The Advancements of Learning: Building the teaching commons. The Carnegie Foundation Report on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Huber, M. (2005) Balancing Acts: the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Academic Careers, Washington, DC: The American Association for Higher Education and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Huber, M. T., Morreale, S. P. (2002) ‘Situating the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A Cross-Disciplinary Conversation’ in Huber, M. T., Morreale, S. P.(Eds.)  Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: exploring common ground, (Washington, D.C., American Association for Higher Education) Available at:
http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/publications/sub.asp?key=452&subkey=610

Huber, M. T. (1999) Developing Discourse Communities around the Scholarship of Teaching’ Carnegie Chronicle, Vol 8. No 6.

Hutchings, P. (2007) ‘Theory: The Elephant in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Room’ in International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol 1, No. 1, pp. 1-4. Available at:
http://www.georgiasouthern.edu/ijsotl/v1n1/essays/hutchings/IJ_Hutchings.pdf

Hutchings, P. (2002) ‘Ethics and Aspiration in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,’ in Ethics of Inquiry: Issues in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Menlo Park: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, pp. 1-17. Available at:
http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/dynamic/publications/ethics_of_inq-intro.pdf

Hutchings, P. (2000) ‘Approaching The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning’ in, Hutchings, P. (Ed) Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Menlo Park, CA: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, pp. 1-10. Available at:
http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/dynamic/publications/approaching.pdf

Hutchings, P. (Ed.) (1998) The Course Portfolio, How faculty can examine their teaching to advance practice and improve student learning, (Washington, D.C., American Association For Higher Education)

Isaacson, R. (2001) ‘Integration within scholarship of teaching: when teachers become learners in foreign disciplines’ The Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol 2, No. 1, pp.1-5.

Kreber, C. (2007) ‘What‘s it really all about? The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as an Authentic Practice’ in International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol 1, No. 1, pp. 1-4. Available at:
http://www.georgiasouthern.edu/ijsotl/v1n1/essays/kreber/IJ_Kreber.pdf

Kreber, C. (2005). Charting a Critical Course on the Scholarship of University Teaching Movement, Studies in Higher Education, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 389-407.

Kreber, C. (2002a) ‘The Scholarship of Teaching: a comparison between conceptions held by experts and regular academic staff’ (Edmonton, University of Alberta Press)

Kreber, C. (2002b) ‘Teaching Excellence, Teaching Expertise, and the Scholarship of Teaching’ Innovative Higher Education, Vol 27, No.1, pp. 5-23.

Nicholls, G. (2004) ‘Scholarship in Teaching as a Core Academic Value: what does it mean to the academic’, Teaching in Higher Education, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 29-42.

Richlin, L. (2001) ‘Scholarly Teaching and The Scholarship of Teaching’ in Kreber, C (Ed.) The Scholarship of Teaching: New Directions in Teaching and Learning, No. 86, Jossey-Bass Publishers

Shulman, L. (1993) ‘Teaching as Community Property: Putting the End to Pedagogical Solitude’ Change, Vol. 25, No. 6, pp. 6-7.

Shulman, L. (1998) ‘The Course Anatomy: the Dissection and Analysis of Knowledge Through Teaching’ in: P. Hutchings (Ed.) The Course Portfolio, How faculty can examine their teaching to advance practice and improve student learning, (Washington, D.C., American Association For Higher Education)

Shulman, L. (2000) ‘From Minsk to Pinsk: Why a scholarship of teaching and learning’ The Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 48-52.

Trigwell, K., Martin, E., Benjamin, J., Prosser, M. (2000) ‘Scholarship of Teaching: A Model’ Higher Education Research and Development, Vol. 19. No. 2, pp. 155-168.

Trigwell, K., Shale, S. (2004) ‘Student Learning and the Scholarship of University Teaching’ Studies in higher Education, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 523-525.

 

 

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