What is The Scholarship of Teaching?

What is The Scholarship of Teaching?

What is The Scholarship of Teaching?


Boyer and the Scholarship of Teaching

The term “scholarship of teaching” was used by Boyer (1990) to express the view that the rigorous and systematic creation of knowledge about teaching and learning is a form of scholarship similar in importance to that of traditional academic research.

Further, he intended establish the principle that the activities associated with the scholarship of teaching (namely, exploration, experimentation and dissemination of results) should be conducted by academics from all disciplines, not just those who work in the field of education.

Boyer argued that the work of university academics should be thought of as having four separate, yet overlapping, functions, which he called, the scholarships of discovery, integration, application and teaching.

Boyer, E. (1990) Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Princeton University Press, distinguished between four types of scholarship

  • Scholarship of Discovery
  • Scholarship of Integration
  • Scholarship of Application (Engagement)
  • Scholarship of Teaching

Discovery = "traditional" research.

Integration = research on the boundaries of various converging fields, placing research in its appropriate interdisciplinary context, and interpreting research into "the larger intellectual patterns."

Application = "service", and relates acquired knowledge to the larger community.

Teaching = teaching.

Scholarly activity needs to be:

  • Public
  • Susceptible to critical review and evaluation
  • Accessible for exchange and use by other members of one’s community


The scholarship of teaching

  • Includes active enquiry by teachers into their own practice…
  • ...that is documented i.e. subject to public review, e.g. in a teaching portfolio

A teaching portfolio is a collection of documents and artifacts, which document the author’s (best) practice in teaching and shows their mastery of the scholarship of teaching.


Further reading:

For a brief review of Boyer's seminal work see [1]


Highly Recommended Reading

  • Kreber, C (2002)b Teaching Excellence, Teaching Expertise, and the Scholarship of Teaching. Innovative Higher Education 27(1): 5-23.[2]
  • Kreber C. & Cranton P. A. 2000 Exploring the Scholarship of Teaching The Journal of Higher Education 71, 4: 476-495
  • Trigwell K. 2001 Judging University Teaching International Journal for Academic Development 6, 1 65-73



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