Scholarly Teaching in Practice 2

Scholarly Teaching in Practice 2

Scholarly Teaching in Practice 2


Scholarly Teaching in Practice

Building on Boyer's work, Charles E. Glassick, Mary Taylor Huber, and Gene I. Maeroff, in their book Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1997) identified six standards against which all scholarly work, including that concerned with the scholarship of teaching, should be evaluated, namely:

Clear Goals

Are the intended outcomes of the work clearly stated? Are these realistic and achievable? Does the work relate to identified issues extant in the literature?

Adequate Preparation

Does the work demonstrate an understanding of existing scholarship in the field? Is the work adequately resourced?

Appropriate Methods

Are the methods used appropriate to the intended outcomes? Are the investigatory or developmental methods rigorous and effectively applied? Do procedures take account of changing circumstances?

Significant Results

Are the intended outcomes met? Is the work a significant addition to the field? Does the work reveal additional areas in need of further exploration and development?

Effective Presentation

Is the work presented in a suitable style and in a forum relevant to the target audience? Is the presentation well-structured and coherently organised? Is the work presented with clarity and integrity?

Reflective Critique

Does the author critically evaluate his or her own work? Is there an appropriate breadth of evidence underlying this self-evaluation? Does this self-evaluation have the potential to improve the quality of future work?

(Adapted from Glassick, C. E.; Huber, M. T.; Maeroff, G. I. Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1997; p. 36.)


These standards will be familiar to university academics who conduct research; yet they can be applied when evaluating the other three types of scholarly work identified by Boyer.

Thus, the scholarship of teaching can defined as teaching that is done in ways that meet the above six standards.

An alternative conception of the scholarship of teaching was developed by Lee S Schulman (Also associated with the Carnegie Foundation). In his paper “Taking Learning Seriously” [1] he argues that an act of intelligence or of artistic creation becomes scholarship when it possesses at least three attributes, namely:

1. it becomes public;

2. it becomes subject to critical review and evaluation by members of a relevant community of scholars;

3. members of this relevant community begin to use, build upon, and develop those acts of mind and creation.


Shulman argued that in order for teaching and learning to attain equal status with traditional research, a scholarship of teaching should be emphasized that meets these three qualities. Shulman's definition of scholarship emphasizes that scholarship is something that is achieved within a community and which should be judged by that community. This conceptualisation gives the scholarship of teaching a process equivalent to that of peer-review as used in traditional research.

The Carnegie Foundation has an initiative known as “The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” (CASTL). Details of this can be found at: http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/scholarship-teaching-learning

Among other things, this project brought to the fore the idea of using a Teaching Portfolio [2] to record and disseminate scholarly activity in teaching and learning.

Teaching Portfolios have a long and valued tradition within a variety of professions; e.g. commercial art, professional writing, photography, architecture. Practitioners in these professionals use portfolios to keep copies or drafts of their work (sketches, pictures, writings, models of projects, etc.) charting how over time it has changed. Some portfolios include only what is considered one's 'best work'. Others include a range of work.

When applied to teaching, portfolios need to contain strong evidence of both reflection and of actions taken to improve practice as a result of this reflection. The idea is that through reflection, a teacher revisits and inquires into his/her teaching and learning, seeking out reasons for successes and failures and looking for ways to improve his/her own practice. In this process, teachers uncover the meanings and interpretations they make of their own practices. Through a portfolio they can make this knowledge public and open to scrutiny. Thus the portfolio can be three things at once:

1. a means of inquiring into teaching

2. a way of recording the results of that process

3. a way of presenting what was achieved / what was learned to a wider professional audience.


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