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Scholarship

General Guidelines - Dossier Preparation - Peer Review by Academic and Professional Colleagues - Teaching - Service - Scholarship - References for Scholarship of Teaching and Course/Teaching Portfolios - PTR Home

Scholarship

In 1990 Ernest Boyer's book, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate,began a discussion on university and college campuses that continues today. The debate has led to changes on some campuses, reflection on most campuses, and has raised the question: How will we define scholarship and what faculty activities should qualify as scholarship? Boyer makes his case for broadening the traditional definition of scholarship by emphasizing the value of the diverse talents of faculty at all stages of their careers:

What we urgently need today is a more inclusive view of what it means to be a scholar - a recognition that knowledge is acquired through research, through synthesis, through practice, and through teaching. . . . Such a vision of scholarship, one that recognizes the great diversity of talent within the professoriate, also may prove especially useful to faculty as they reflect on the meaning and direction of their professional lives." (p. 24-25)

The view of scholarship advocated by Boyer promotes four separate, yet overlapping, functions. The scholarship of discovery is the traditional view of scholarship (research) which can be defined as seeking understanding and contributing to the stock of human knowledge. The scholarship of integration seeks to make connections across the disciplines and interprets, draws together, or sheds new light on original research. The scholarship of application moves the scholar into the applied setting beyond the university to explore how knowledge from discovery and integration can be applied to help individuals and institutions. The scholarship of teaching directs the focus of scholarly inquiry to the classroom to examine and develop a knowledge of the teaching learning process within a discipline.

Much of the controversy surrounding Boyer's view of scholarship concerns the diluting of the meaning of scholarship. Critics often believe that this new view of scholarship opens the door for any university activity to be described as scholarship. Lee Shulman, the president of the Carnegie Foundation, describes scholarship as disciplined inquiry and invention that has clear characteristics whether the scholarship be discovery, integration, application, or teaching (1998):

"For an activity to be designated as scholarship, it should manifest at least three key characteristics: It should be public, susceptible to critical review and evaluation, and accessible for exchange and use by other members of one's scholarly community. We thus observe, with respect to all forms of scholarship, that they are acts of mind or spirit that have been made public in some manner, have been subjected to peer review by members of one's intellectual or professional community, and can be cited, refuted, built upon, and shared among members of that community. Scholarship properly communicated and critiqued serves as the building blocks for knowledge growth in a field." (p. 5)

The School of Education recognizes all four forms of scholarship but also recognizes the concerns being voiced concerning criteria and quality in the evaluation of the new definition of scholarship. We share Shulman's focus on scholarship being public, susceptible to critical review and evaluation by peers, and the notion that true scholarship builds on the work of colleagues and serves as building blocks for colleagues to follow. We also believe that just as teaching and service must have standards of quality that are identified for candidates and reviewers, as we endorse a new definition of scholarship we must also elaborate on the quality standards that will be used to evaluate this scholarship.

We recognize that the critical review of all types of scholarship must be based on standards of quality. In their book, Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate, Glassick, Huber, and Maeroff (1997) outline six qualitative standards that they have abstracted from all forms of scholarship. The six criteria are:

Clear Goals

All scholars must be clear about the goals of their scholarship. What is the purpose of the scholarship and are the goals clearly stated?

Adequate Preparation
All scholars have the background knowledge and skills to successfully investigate the problem. Does the scholar have the prerequisite skills to thoroughly investigate the problem?
Appropriate Methods
Scholarship must be carried out in a competent manner for the results to have credibility. Did the scholar use the appropriate procedures to investigate the problem?
Significant Results
One of the most critical criteria in judging the quality of scholarship is whether scholarship can be used as the building blocks of knowledge in the field. Scholarship may not always result in "significant" results but to have quality the results must inform scholars in the field. Does the scholarship help build the knowledge base in the field?
Effective Presentation
To have quality it is essential that scholarship be accessible by the intellectual or professional community. There are many forums that provide opportunities for the review and critique by colleagues with each medium having different criteria for effectiveness. Is the scholarship meet the standards or quality for the medium in which it is presented?
Reflective Critique
All scholarship must create an opportunity for collegial critique but it is also essential for the scholar to reflect on the scholarship and learn from the results. Insightful reflection is a necessary step in quality scholarship. Is there evidence that the scholar has learned from the experience and can apply this knowledge to future problem?

Defining scholarship as discovery, integration, application, and teaching does not mean that the standards for evaluating this scholarship have changed. The new view of scholarship applies the same standards used in the academy, but now applies them to a broadened view of what is meant by scholarship. Scholarship must still be public, susceptible to peer review, and it must afford the community of scholars the opportunity to build on the outcome of the scholarship.

It is important to note, it is not an expectation of the School of Education that all four forms of scholarship must be represented in the dossier. Rather, we expect the scholarly interests of individual faculty members will naturally lead to one or more areas of specialization.

Scholarship of Discovery

This scholarship focuses on the development and dissemination of new knowledge or creative work in our disciplinary areas. Examples of this might include:

  • Articles in peer reviewed journals
  • Academic monographs and books
  • Peer reviewed presentations
  • Grants resulting in scholarly publications
  • Creative work related to disciplinary expertise

Scholarship of Integration

This scholarship focuses on the synthesis of knowledge from varied disciplines in an effort to create a larger coherent whole. Examples of this might include presentations and publications that:

  • Explore cross-disciplinary understanding of problems and issues in education
  • Bring together findings from diverse fields that bear on educational practice
  • Explore the ethics and values of teaching and learning through a broad analysis of cultural or historic backgrounds
  • Consider educational policy from broad social, economic, historical, and political perspectives.

Scholarship of Application

This scholarship focuses on the interpretation and use of disciplinary knowledge. Examples of this might include:

  • Development and validation of new teaching methods outside of teacher education
  • Resolution of real-world problems using disciplinary expertise
  • Disseminating practical interpretations of theoretical models and empirical findings
  • Practitioner oriented publications and presentations

Scholarship of Teaching

This scholarship focused on the development and dissemination of new approaches to teaching. Examples of this might include:

  • Development and validation of new teaching methods in teacher education and related fields
  • Teacher education oriented publications and presentations
  • Preparation and dissemination of teaching and course portfolios documenting course or curriculum development
  • Workshop presentations focusing on teaching issues and methods in higher education