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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

SoTL The origin of  Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) dates back to 1990, when Dr. Ernest Boyer was the president of the Carnegie Foundation of the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. He worked to create a framework that would enhance teaching and learning capabilities of faculty within institutions of higher education.

“Boyer began the process of examining the relationship between research and teaching and advocated for the scholarly consideration of how teaching methods relate to the subject content being learned by students” (McCrea & Ginsberg, 2009)

Boyer proposed that faculty should spend the same amount of time in active scholarship within the areas of discovery learning, content integration and application of learning as they do within their chosen field of study. The intent was to promote an instructional venue that empowered student learning based on research that informed faculty instructional decision making.

In 1997, Lee Schulman became the president of the Carnegie Foundation of the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. He furthered Boyer’s vision through distinguishing scholarship of content knowledge and effective communication of content.

Today SoTL is becoming a guiding practice within higher education institutions. According to Hutchings, Huber, and Ciccone (2011, p. xix), “the scholarship of teaching and learning encompasses a broad set of practices that engage teachers in looking closely and critically at student learning in order to improve their own courses and programs, and to share insights with other educators who can evaluate and build on their efforts.” Conceptually, the above-mentioned practices are “best understood as an approach that marries scholarly inquiry to any of the intellectual tasks that comprise the work of teaching – designing a course, facilitating classroom activities, trying out new pedagogical ideas, advising, writing student learning outcomes, evaluating programs” (Schulman, 1998). When activities like these are undertaken with serious questions about student learning in mind, one enters the territory of the scholarship of teaching and learning.”

A variety of methodologies are used when actively pursuing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. this includes but is not limited to the “reflection and analysis, interviews and focus groups, questionnaires and surveys, content analysis of text, secondary analysis of existing data, quasi-experiments (e.g. comparison of two sections of the same course), observational research, and case studies” (Wikipedia, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning).


Boyer, E. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching..

Hutchings, P., Huber, M., & Ciccone, A. (2011). The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Reconsidered  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

McCrea, E., and Ginsberg, S. (2009, April). What is the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)? What resources has ASHA Developed for Faculty in Communication Disorders. Access Academics and Research. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from http://www.asha.org/academic/questions/SOTL/

Wikipedia Scholarship of Teaching and Learning retrieved March 4, 2015 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholarship_of_Teaching_and_Learning


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