“If teaching is a scholarly endeavor, let’s treat it as such.” This statement by Dr. Julie Glass appropriately sums up one of the current “hot topics” in higher education: the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, generally referred to as SoTL. Though it has been discussed for well over a decade, SoTL is beginning to grow in recognition and importance in higher education communities.
SoTL researchers contend that it is important for faculty to acknowledge the scholarship behind why we teach how we teach. Inherent in the scholarship is that faculty are recognized for their evidence-based teaching practices. Research suggests that SoTL has both direct and indirect impact on student learning and success (University of North Carolina Charlotte, UNCC). If students are to take learning seriously, they need to understand the seriousness with which we approach teaching.
In 2008, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching published a listing of SoTL’s impact on issues relevant to higher education. Among the noted issues are how SoTL has opened dialogue about good teaching that has led to stronger programming, improvement in pedagogy and the understanding of how students learn (UNCC).
Peer-reviewed publication, such as the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, provide findings on formal research projects, both qualitative and quantitative in design, in which teacher-scholars discuss new ideas in pedagogy and the study of teaching. It is this type of scholarship that the Carnegie Foundation feels has the ability to affect the culture of the academy (UNCC).
Loyola University Chicago strives to provide opportunities for faculty to participate in the dialogue around good teaching and learning practices. Focus on Teaching and Learning, IT Tech Day and Commonalities (in the IC) are just a few examples of programming that provides an opportunity for faculty to enter the dialogue with colleagues from across disciplines. Keep watching the Faculty Center calendar for upcoming events and plan to join in the discussion.
Glass, J. (2013). “Modeling Scholarly Practice Using Your Syllabus.” Faculty Focus: Higher Ed Teaching Strategies. Magma Publications. http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/faculty-development/modeling-scholarly-practice-using-your-syllabus/
University of North Caroline at Charlotte (2014). “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.” https://teaching.uncc.edu/learning-resources/sotl