The posting below is of the Conclusion section of a talk,"
Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching: Reflections on
The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,"
given at the 7th International Improving Student Learning Symposium
"Improving Student Learning Through the Disciplines, " 6-8 September
1999, University of York, UK. (In Press. In Improving Student
Learning - Improving Student Learning Through the Disciplines, ed.
Chris Rust, pp. 9-20. Oxford Brookes University: Oxford Centre for
Staff and Learning Development. (September 2000)). In addition, The
full paper can also be found at:
[http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/AboutUs/AboutUs.htm]. The author
is Mary Taylor Huber, senior scholar at The Carnegie Foundation for
the Advancement of Teaching. Dr. Huber would welcome comments and
suggestions. She can be reached at: email@example.com
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DISCIPLINARY STYLES IN THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING:
REFLECTIONS ON THE CARNEGIE ACADEMY FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING
Mary Taylor Huber
The placement of the scholarship of teaching and learning in the
larger world of knowledge production is very much up for grabs right
now. Its genres, topics, and methods are being invented as we speak;
its role in academic careers is being written case by case; new
practitioners announce themselves every day; and they are just
beginning to seek each other out. We can see that disciplinary styles
are rightly influencing the way scholars approach teaching and
student learning, but disciplinary "boundaries" in this area are not
that well-established, facilitating border-crossing and collaboration
across fields. One of the big questions now is whether scholars of
teaching and learning can fascinate their disciplinary colleagues as
much as they fascinate those from other disciplines working in the
same vein (See Marcus 1998: 244). Can the discourse that is beginning
to take on life in multi- or inter-disciplinary discussions be
registered and legitimated within the heart of the disciplines
I think it is an open question whether this work will end up looking
like "normal" academic science or not. Will the scholarship of
teaching and learning find its home with other pedagogical
discussions--on the margins of most disciplines? Will it gain ground
in disciplinary forums and/or emerge as an interdisciplinary field of
its own? And here's another possibility. Might the scholarship of
teaching and learning live a more punctuated life, like those
transdisciplinary, problem-solving, task forces that Michael Gibbons
and his colleagues (1994) describe as a new mode of knowledge
production? One thing we've learned from trying to encourage the
growth of a scholarship of teaching and learning so far is that here
there are no either/or's. The correct answer almost surely will be:
"all of the above."
It's ambitious to try and foster the broad development of a
scholarship of teaching and learning, but it's not starting from
scratch. As we at this conference well know, there is a strong
foundation on which to build. There are many forums in which the
exchange of information and ideas about teaching and learning in
higher education already take place. And there are many people
investing a great deal of intellectual interest and energy in them.
Many of these discussions are already squarely within the scope of
what we are calling the "scholarship of teaching and learning," and
many others are open to the ideas behind it. The aim is to enrich
these conversations, expand their scope, and ultimately help make
them so attractive and intriguing that scholars will WANT to turn to
the literature, or to a pioneer colleague at another institution or
even down the hall, for ideas and feedback as they try to make their
own classrooms better places for all students to learn. As
intellectually compelling work in the scholarship of teaching and
learning becomes better known, teachers will not have to reinvent the
wheel, but can build on -and contribute to-- what their colleagues
have already achieved.
Gibbons, Michael, Camille Limoges, Helga Nowotny, Simon Schwartzman,
Peter Scott, and Martin Trow. 1994. The New Production of Knowledge:
The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies.
Marcus, George E. 1998. Ethnography through Thick and Thin.
Princeton: Princeton University Press.