What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning?
There are multiple ways that the concept of scholarship can be connected to teaching. For example, educational research involves rigorous and systematic study of educational environments to build theory and understanding of the way people learn. Pat Hutchings and Lee Schulman (1999), of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, distinguished scholarly teaching (classroom practice informed by current research and ideas about teaching), from the scholarship of teaching (investigations of classroom practice and resulting learning that are publically presented and subject to peer review).
At the University of Denver, in the Office of Teaching and Learning, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is defined more distinctly as engaging in research regarding pedagogical and curricular design and implementation practices that impact student learning. SoTL research is an example of reflective practice in higher education that is publically shared and reviewed by a community of peers.
Characteristics of SoTL Research
- It reflects the natures, values, fundamental concepts and modes of inquiry specific to our disciplines.
- It considers learning assessments and outcomes.
- It inquires into the effectiveness of aims and research into teaching and learning.
- It responds to the need for continuous improvement resulting from reflection and inquiry.
- It communicates new questions and knowledge about teaching and learning.