The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as “Research”
By Pat Hutchings, Mary Taylor Huber & Anthony Ciccone
The dilemmas posed by the under-institutionalization of the new scholarships have become most evident to scholars of teaching and learning in the quest to gain recognition for their work as “research.” On the positive side, faculty have made successful cases for promotion and tenure based on pedagogical projects and publications, even at research universities, as documented through the case studies of the four pathfinders featured in Balancing Acts: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Academic Careers (Huber, 2004). There is also evidence that policy revisions have prompted a growing number of faculty to include such work in their dossiers. Still, campus leaders are quick to point out that recognition for the scholarship of teaching and learning as research is by no means yet assured, and that this uncertainty remains a barrier to wider faculty engagement.
The problems are typically not in the language of the faculty evaluation policy documents themselves. True, many colleges and universities have very general guidelines defining research and creative work at the institution-wide level, but at least these guidelines don’t rule out pedagogical scholarship. Even policies that explicitly include pedagogical scholarship have usually been through a lengthy and painstaking vetting process and are very cautiously worded.
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