Glossary: SOTL

How might we make the problematization of teaching a matter of regular communal discourse? How might we think of teaching practice, and the evidence of student learning, as problems to be investigated, analyzed, represented, and debated?1

For scholarship of teaching, we need scholarship that makes our work public and thus susceptible to critique. It then becomes community property, available for others to build upon.2

A scholarship of teaching will entail a public account of some or all of the full act of teaching-vision, design, enactment, outcomes, and analysis-in a manner susceptible to critical review by the teacher’s professional peers and amenable to productive employment in future work by members of that same community. 3

… it involves question-asking, inquiry, and investigation, particularly around issues of student learning….A scholarship of teaching is not synonymous with excellent teaching. It requires a kind of “going meta,” in which faculty frame and systematically investigate questions related to student learning-the conditions under which it occurs, what it looks like, how to deepen it, and so forth-and do so with an eye not only to improving their own classroom but to advancing practice beyond it.

This conception of the scholarship of teaching is not something we presume all faculty (even the most excellent and scholarly teachers among them) will or should do- though it would be good to see that more of them have the opportunity to do so if they wish. But the scholarship of teaching is a condition-as yet a mostly absent condition for excellent teaching. It is the mechanism through which the profession of teaching itself advances, through which teaching can be something other than a seat-of-the-pants operation, with each of us out there making it up as we go. As such, the scholarship of teaching has the potential to serve all teachers-and students.4

  1. references

  2. 1From: Bass, Randy, “The Scholarship of Teaching: What’s the Problem?” Inventio (February 1999), 1.
  3. 2From Lee Shulman, “Taking Learning Seriously,” Change ( July/August 1999), Vol. 31, No. 4. Pages 10-17.
  4. 3From: Pat Hutchings & Lee S. Shulman, “The Scholarship of Teaching: New Elaborations, New Developments.” Change, September/October 1999. Volume 31, Number 5. Pages 10-15.
  5. 4

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