Volume 14, Issue 2
Editorial: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
This edition of Academic Exchange Quarterly offers seven articles related to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). In the 20 years since Ernest Boyer (1990) first promoted the scholarship of teaching as one of four types of scholarship in which faculty can and should regularly engage, research on the practice and outcomes of teaching has grown in quality and scope, and obtained greater recognition as a viable form of research for those working in a range of institutional types and within all academic disciplines.
As the call for submissions indicated, “as teacher-scholars, we investigate teaching strategies, pose hypotheses about learning that can be tested, and assess outcomes in the context of various disciplines and various learning paradigms. The result is a reflective, on-going process and a ‘meta-pedagogy’ that is dynamic.” The accepted articles represent a diversity of scholarly considerations of teaching and learning as the authors examine of the aims of education, assessment of learning outcomes, tools and techniques to support student learning, and factors that influence student achievement.
Addressing the aims of education, Tom Roach of Bryant University and Michelle Stewart of SUNY Purchase encourage consideration of the benefits of teaching about “collectivity and constitutional interdependency” as an alternative to the neoliberalism that so many students accept uncritically and with increasing fervor. Cherie A. McCollough of Texas A&M University-Corpus Cristi also addresses educational aims and practices as she explores the benefits of combining an ethic of care with learning processes and curricular development practices within the sciences to form a “pedagogy of promise” that can better meet multiple educational aims.
Assessment of learning outcomes gains prominence in the study by Syracuse University’s Eunjoo Jung as she examines how future teachers learn about diversity through engagement in field experiences, and the implications for those who prepare teachers and set educational policy. Attending to conditions that influence learning, Vickie L. Harvey and Dawn L. Strongin of California State University Stanislaus offer the results of a study of how affective factors impact student learning throughout an academic term.
Tools and techniques for supporting learning are studied in three of this edition’s articles. Kimo Ah Yun and Maureen Lojo of California State University, Sacramento present a study of the use of student handheld response devices (more commonly referred to as “clickers”) in the college classroom, reporting on student satisfaction and impacts on student performance on assignments. Christina J. Taylor of Sacred Heart University demonstrates the pedagogical value of using the feature film The Hours to learn about psychological topics, and its potential use in a variety of academic disciplines. Pamela Bedore of the University of Connecticut describes the value of online multiple-choice quizzes to enhance engagement and learning in a literature survey course.
Although you may be motivated to read only one or two articles to gain insight into a particular topic that appears to have immediate applicability to your discipline or teaching practices and philosophy, I encourage you to read many or all of these articles, for they are valuable not only for their content but also as examples of the ways in which scholars reflect upon their teaching as a means to improve the quality of student learning. You may be surprised by the applicability of each article to your work, for the core desire to support student learning and success permeates each of the works. The scholarship of teaching is an essential component of academic research, and engagement with the findings of such research is a vital component of faculty development. To be successful educators, faculty need both content knowledge and pedagogical skills that promote student engagement and the achievement of desired learning outcomes.
I hope these works inspire you to continue to reflect upon your own teaching and learning experiences, and perhaps to engage in scholarly writing related to teaching and learning. I am pleased to announce that Academic Exchange Quarterly will again feature the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in its Fall 2011 edition. I encourage you to consider submitting your own work, and to share this call with colleagues. Feel free to contact me with any questions about the upcoming edition and submission guidelines.
Betsy Eudey, PhD
Feature Editor, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Associate Professor, Gender Studies
Director, Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
California State University Stanislaus
Boyer, Ernest. Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990.