• Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

  • "In the end, our goal must not be only to prepare students for careers, but also to enable them to live with dignity and purpose; not only to give knowledge to the student, but also to channel knowledge to humane ends. Educating a new generation of Americans to their full potential is still our most compelling obligation." 

    - Ernest Boyer, President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1979 – 1995

    In his groundbreaking monograph, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate (1990), Ernest Boyer argues for a broadening of the traditional view of acceptable forms of scholarship (discovery, integration, and application) to include teaching as a valid category of intellectual work. If good teaching is characterized by a lively and focused exchange, and scholarly teaching by mastery of the disciplinary field and advances in pedagogy, the scholarship of teaching encompasses both practice and mastery, which in turn generate questions for inquiry and the creation of new knowledge:  

    As a scholarly enterprise, teaching begins with what the teacher knows. Those who teach must be well-informed and steeped in the knowledge of their fields. Teaching is also a dynamic endeavor which must bring students actively into the educational process.  

    Further, teaching, at its best, means not only transmitting knowledge, but transforming and extending it as well. In the end, inspired teaching keeps scholarship alive and inspired scholarship keeps teaching alive. Without the teaching function, the continuity of knowledge will be broken and the store of human knowledge diminished.  

    Stimulating debate across the professoriate, Boyer’s call to rethink faculty priorities and the meaning of scholarship was continued by Lee Shulman, his successor as Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (CFAT) president (1999-2008). Like Boyer, Shulman valued the moral and civic dimensions of education, and stressed those aspects of scholarship that remove teaching, however good or scholarly, from “pedagogical solitude” to public presentations of the “full act of teaching.”  Intended for critical review by a community of peers, faculty "frame and systematically investigate questions related to student learning – the conditions under which they occur, what it looks like, how to deepen it, and so forth – with an eye not only to improving their own classroom but to advancing practice beyond it.” 

    Presenting itself as “community property,” the scholarship of teaching and learning is an “enactment” of our understanding of our disciplines, of what thinking like an historian or photographer might look like.  Systematic investigation of disciplinary practice requires evidence of its effectiveness; the SoTL teacher who designs a specific intervention will also want to share its outcomes and the degree to which it enhances learning.  Forms of evidence are varied and may include assignment and course grades, portfolios, interviews, focus groups, case studies, etc.  

    At LaGuardia’s Center for Teaching and Learning, inquiry into effective classroom pedagogy is a practice common to all seminars as is the commitment to making investigations into teaching and learning public and open to critical review. More formal research projects are undertaken in:

    • the Carnegie Seminar on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, a two-year seminar in which faculty investigate significant issues in the teaching and learning of their fields and complete a scholarly paper for internal publication in  In Transit: The LaGuardia Journal on Teaching and Learning or for external, peer reviewed publication in disciplinary journals,
    • In Transit: The LaGuardia Journal on Teaching and Learning, published annually since 2005, with articles by faculty from a broad range of disciplines who are researching pedagogical questions and issues, and
    • the Faculty Scholars Publication Workshop, a year-long seminar dedicated to providing collegial support for faculty throughout the college as they develop research for publication their in peer-reviewed journals.

    The Center’s work with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning has been informed by partnerships including  previous affiliations with the Integrative Learning Project (sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities), the Visible Knowledge Project (co-led by LaGuardia and Georgetown University) and, more recently, the Carnegie Scholars Program Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL).  




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