To advance just about any discipline, we follow a scholarly approach. We study what has been done, look for opportunities to use empirical work completed by others, and then make adjustments according to current demands. This “system” seems to work in essentially every discipline within higher education. As teaching professionals, we need to apply these processes and expertise to improve our teaching and to enhance student learning.
According to Richlin (2001) scholarly teachers consult the literature, identify and then apply relevant findings to guide and shape an individual’s teaching and learning. Ideally, the final step is to gather some data to determine if the changes have resulted in a positive outcome. Also writing on the concept of scholarly teaching, Allen and Field (2005) suggest that teaching should include reflecting on pedagogical experiences and published work to make informed decisions as to bring about more effective teaching.
This blog is named The Scholarly Teacher to emphasize the importance of taking an informed and practiced approach to enhancing student learning by systematic improvement of effective teaching. A major focus of this blog is a healthy balance of scholarly evidence and practical application.
With The Scholarly Teaching blog, the fundamental goals are to:
- provide a venue to share with, and learn from, your colleagues;
- point you to additional resources to dive deeper into a topic you find interesting; and
- inspire you to try something new, to tweak a favorite teaching strategy, or to reinforce that what you currently do is based on sound practice.
Amy Gross, formerly with The IDEA Center and now a consulting colleague for the International Teaching Learning Cooperative (ITLC), will be working with me to coordinate, review, and write blog posts. We invite your comments to postings to further and deepen the conversation in positive ways. We invite you to submit your ideas for future blog posts so that we can continue to learn from each other.
Read, enjoy, learn, share, and contribute. Most importantly, live the life of a scholarly teacher.