All faculty have an obligation to teach well, to engage students, and to foster important forms of student learning-not that this is easily done. Such teaching is a good fully sufficient unto itself. When it entails, as well, certain practices of classroom assessment and evidence gathering, when it is informed not only by the latest ideas in the field but by current ideas about teaching the field, when it invites peer collaboration and review, then that teaching might rightly be called scholarly, or reflective, or informed. But in addition to all of this, yet another good is needed, one called a scholarship of teaching, which we describe as having three central features of being public ("community property"), open to critique and evaluation, and in a form that others can build on. A fourth attribute of a scholarship of teaching, implied by the other three, is that it involves question-asking, inquiry and investigation, particularly around issues of student learning.
A scholarship of teaching is not synonymous with excellent teaching. Fully done, it requires faculty to frame and systematically investigate questions related to student learning: the conditions under which it occurs, what it looks like, how to deepen it and so forth-and to do so with an eye not only to improving their own classroom but to advancing practice beyond it.
-Pat Hutchings and Lee Shulman, from the September/October 1999 Change article, Teaching Among the Scholarships.
In sum, a scholarship of teaching will entail a public account of some or all of the full act of teaching-vision, design, enactment, outcomes and analysis-in a manner susceptible to critical review by the teachers professional peers and amenable to productive employment in future work by members of that same community. Without such a scholarship, the profession of teaching cannot advance in ways that best serve our students needs now and in the future.
-Lee Shulman, from the 1998 AAHE volume, The Course Portfolio.
Key Elements of the Scholarship of Teaching
According to the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching, such work "involves significant shifts in thought and practice. In most settings and for most faculty, teaching is a private act, limited to the teacher and students; it is rarely evaluated by professional peers. The results, writes Carnegie Foundation President Less S. Shulman, is that those who engage in innovative acts of teaching rarely build upon the work of others, nor can others build upon theirs." (1999).
Many disciplines support the scholarship of teaching by publishing journals dedicated to the dissemination of these efforts, and other publication and presentation venues exist. Consider contributing to the scholarship of teaching. The TLC maintains a reference library that might provide a theoretical framework for your scholarship or some good ideas that might suggest an investigation in your teaching area.