Scholarship As Defined in the SoTL Literature

Indiana University

The scholarship of teaching and learning:

  1. Is systematic research and research-based activity aimed at deepening and broadening the foundation of teaching practice.
  2. Can give rise to new forms of knowledge through new forms of research; forms that often focus on our own pedagogical practices or on the behaviours of our students
  3. Must meet similar standards to those applied to traditional forms of scholarship in the academic disciplines.

Some examples of scholarly activity supported by SoTL at Indiana University:

  • Reading and discussion of existing scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Applying scholarship to practice in courses and programs
  • Assessing learning outcomes and teaching effectiveness
  • Designing and conducting research in issues of teaching and learning
  • Publicizing and reviewing results of scholarly activities
  • Participation in campuswide and nationwide scholarship of teaching initiatives

The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (CASTL)

Launched in 1998, CASTL builds on the seminal work Scholarship Reconsidered, by former Carnegie Foundation President Ernest Boyer. CASTL supports the development of a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning that will

  1. Foster significant, long-lasting learning for all students
  2. Enhance the practice and professions of teaching
  3. Bring to faculty members' work as teachers the recognition and reward afforded to other forms of scholarly work in higher education

Australian Scholarship in Teaching Project

Scholarship in teaching has five characteristics:

  1. Reflects the natures, values, fundamental concepts and modes of enquiry specific to the discipline.
  2. Considers learning assessments and outcomes.
  3. Inquires into the effectiveness of aims and research into teaching and learning.
  4. Responds to the need for continuous improvement resulting from reflection and inquiry.
  5. Communicates new questions and knowledge about teaching and learning.

    - Trigwell, K., et al.

Standards for Scholarly Work

"Their very obviousness suggests their applicability to a broad range of intellectual projects:"

  1. Clear goals
  2. Adequate preparation
  3. Appropriate methods
  4. Significant results
  5. Effective presentation
  6. Reflective critique

    Glassick, C.E., Huber, M.T., & Maerof, G.I. (1997) Scholarship assessed: Evaluation of the professoriate. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, p. 25.

An intelligent act becomes scholarship when

  1. It becomes public
  2. It is critically reviewed and evaluated by one's community
  3. Members of one's community begin to use, build upon, and develop these acts of mind and creation.

    Shulman, L. (1999) Taking learning seriously. Change. Vol. 31, No 4.

The Oregon State University "Litmus Test" for Scholarship

Scholarship is undefined and poorly understood, often simplistically equated with research at too many universities. Scholarship is creative intellectual work that is validated by peers and communicated.

Weiser, C.J. (November, 2001) Keynote Address: Symposium on What is a Teacher-Scholar?