Scholarship of Teaching and Learning vs. Scholarly Teaching

September 29, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski

in the field the comparison between the
scholarship of teaching and learning the big long title and scholarly teaching is
made often that’s a that’s a very common kind of comparison I think they’re
easily distinguished scholarly teaching is more about consuming using applying
scholarship so the decisions I make as a university teacher need to be informed
by something they need to be informed by my own experience by my conversations
with colleagues maybe just by my intuition we’ve been doing that for a
long time and that’s in its own way fine for the scholarly teacher however
there’s a much broader set of places where you can go to be informed and
indeed you use scholarship so you go to a literature or you just find
information that is more systematically collected and more reliable probably
more valid than the intuitions and hunches you’ve been using before so the
scholarly teacher is someone who is informed by the scholarship those who
are engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning aren’t so much the
consumers as the producers so we often talk about this distinction when we
teach statistics actually we talk about whether or not you need to learn
statistics so that you can consume them or or produce them and in the
scholarship of teaching and learning we think more about production of that
scholarship we’re expanding our view of what that might mean it’s not just about
empirical research there are a number of ways you can contribute as you produce
but that’s distinct from using of course the same people go back and forth
between both categories but I think the distinction still holds I’m actually one
of the people who is probably responsible for that distinction because
it appeared in an article that I co-wrote with Lee Schulman who was the
president of the Carnegie Foundation at the time and I was his vice president I
know that’s been a helpful distinction to a lot of people
in some ways I wish we hadn’t made it I like to think of those as part of a
larger whole I think that all faculty at various times in their careers can bring
the kinds of habits I was just talking about habits of inquiry questioning
evidence gathering to their work as teachers I don’t care whether you call
that scholarly teaching or the scholarship of teaching and learning I
think it should be part of the repertoire of all teachers in various
ways to various degrees as I say part of the work of all teachers so sometimes it
can take more what should we say mature forms it can become a very sophisticated
piece of published work sometimes it’s more local and evolving it might just be
something I’m thinking about working on talking with you about that that thing
might become the other thing but I don’t like to separate those two things out
from each other I don’t think they’re differents different in character I
think they’re related phenomena on a continuum or in a cycle there is an
interesting conversation in our field about the difference between scholarship
of teaching and scholarly teaching I take a kind of peculiar view on that
question I think that those things that some people call scholarly teaching are
in fact scholarship because I used maybe a different definition to me collar ship
of teaching reaches that level it becomes scholarship when it is visible
to a community that enables that community to use what you found enables
that community to critically review it to that your public enough you make your
work visible and you accept commentary from others and then if it is complete
enough in the way you make it visible they can take that idea
and expand or or make it bigger so to me you know that’s that’s what makes work
scholarly is its public and and it’s amenable to those kinds of audience
reactions I suppose one could call scholarly teaching if all you do is read
other people’s scholarship about teaching and then enact it in some way
but you don’t continually engage in inquiry or make your results public
where I guess I differ from some is I don’t think you have to go through the
conventional you know print journal peer review to become to make it scholarship
you know we have reasonable range of opinion on that within our organization
I like to think of to relationships with scholarly teaching first of all it can
be a an intensification of scholarly teaching if by scholarly teaching you
mean thinking about its consulting literature or people who are expert and
have interesting ideas about teaching and learning in your field or in the
wider area of faculty development many different literature’s are possible to
inform what you do in the classroom and if you are occur if you are carefully
designing your course with some of those ideas in mind or your program with some
of those ideas in mind and keeping a close eye on in your mind on what
students are doing in your classroom that’s scholarly teaching and to me that
is and the scholarship of teaching can be an intensification of that so many
people who are scholarly teachers might then take this next step and do a more
formal inquiry however at the same time the scholarship of teaching and learning
is an invitation to scholarly teaching somebody who is engaged
and a scholarship of teaching and learning project because of the question
they’re asking I will frequently be propelled into literature either in
their own field or elsewhere they’ll think about things differently and that
will make a difference in their teaching all along the way so I see it as having
a relationship on either side of the scholarly teaching with ultimately for
me a scholarly teaching is the goal of the scholarship of teaching and learning
not just for the individual but for the whole community of teachers in your
field in your department in your institution by doing the scholarship of
teaching and learning especially that taking that going public
step you’re contributing to the to better and more informed conversations
about teaching and learning that can stimulate scholarly teaching among
others who might not even consider taking that step into the scholarship of
teaching and learning