Pronounced “sought-ell”, SoTL is the engagement in research and theory development that is proposed, rigorously studied, critically examined, and disseminated through conferences and publications to advance the larger teaching communities knowledge and practice. In his 1990 report, Boyer conceived of academic scholarship as involving "four separate, yet overlapping functions” of scholarship: discovery, integration, application and teaching (SoT) (page 16). "Learning", was added during the paradigm shift in higher education from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning (Barr & Tagg, 1995). The scholarship of teaching and learning is distinct from teaching excellence or expertise (Kreber, 2002), and from scholarly (or informed) teaching (Richlin, 2001).
Lee Shulman, president of the Carnegie Foundation, suggests that scholarship has at least three features (1999):
SoTL provides a structured and valued means of both exploring current understandings of how students learn, and contributing to that understanding. By engaging in SoTL, instructors can strengthen and improve their teaching practice, and investigate issues of significance to other instructors. SoTL includes:
Above all, it is important to recognize that the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is not restricted to those with expertise in educational research. Anyone involved in teaching can engage in SoTL as classroom researchers (Cross and Steadman, 1996).
SoTL involves a series of steps or phases from the initial planning to conducting research, to sharing it "must be a formal, systematic process of inquiry that provides evidence of what works and why, and that evidence must be disseminated, critically reviewed and built upon" (Gale, in a speech reported by Charbonneau, 2005). Conducting SoTL may involve:
Detailed models and guidelines for SoTL include:
In addition to informal methods of sharing with colleagues, there is a growing number of journals and conferences dedicated to SoTL, both cross-disciplinary and discipline-specific.
Most disciplines now have one or more journals on education and SOTL:
Many more journals, including those for specific academic fields, can be found on our evolving list and through Queen's Library.
Tutorial on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning from ISSOTL with definitions, examples and research methods
Barr, R., & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning: A new paradigm for undergraduate education. Change, 27, 12-25.
Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. Princeton, N.J.: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Charbonneau, L. (2005). Scholarship of teaching and learning comes of age, University Affairs.
Cross, P. K., & Steadman, M. H. (1996). Classroom Research: Implementing the Scholarship of Teaching . Jossey-Bass. San Francisco CA
Kreber, C. (2002). “Teaching Excellence, Teaching Expertise, and the Scholarship of Teaching.” Innovative Higher Education, 27(1), 5–23.
Kreber, C., & Cranton, P. (2000). Exploring the Scholarship of Teaching.The Journal of Higher Education71(4), 476-495.
Richlin, L. (2001). “Scholarly Teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching.” In C. Kreber (ed.), Revisiting Scholarship: Perspectives on the Scholarship of Teaching. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 86. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Theall, M., & Centra, J. (2001). Assessing the Scholarship of Teaching: Valid Decisions from Valid Evidence. In C. Kreber (ed.), Revisiting Scholarship: Perspectives on the Scholarship of Teaching. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 86. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Weston, C. B., & McAlpine, L. (2001). Making Explicit the Development Toward the Scholarship of Teaching. In C. Kreber (ed.), Revisiting Scholarship: Perspectives on the Scholarship of Teaching. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 86. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.