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Disciplinary Styles In The Scholarship Of Teaching

Tomorrow's Research

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The posting below is of the Conclusion section of a talk,"

Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching: Reflections on

The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,"

given at the 7th International Improving Student Learning Symposium

"Improving Student Learning Through the Disciplines, " 6-8 September

1999, University of York, UK. (In Press. In Improving Student

Learning - Improving Student Learning Through the Disciplines, ed.

Chris Rust, pp. 9-20. Oxford Brookes University: Oxford Centre for

Staff and Learning Development. (September 2000)). In addition, The

full paper can also be found at:

[]. The author

is Mary Taylor Huber, senior scholar at The Carnegie Foundation for

the Advancement of Teaching. Dr. Huber would welcome comments and

suggestions. She can be reached at:


Rick Reis

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Tomorrow's Research


--------------- 484 words ----------------




Mary Taylor Huber



The placement of the scholarship of teaching and learning in the

larger world of knowledge production is very much up for grabs right

now. Its genres, topics, and methods are being invented as we speak;

its role in academic careers is being written case by case; new

practitioners announce themselves every day; and they are just

beginning to seek each other out. We can see that disciplinary styles

are rightly influencing the way scholars approach teaching and

student learning, but disciplinary "boundaries" in this area are not

that well-established, facilitating border-crossing and collaboration

across fields. One of the big questions now is whether scholars of

teaching and learning can fascinate their disciplinary colleagues as

much as they fascinate those from other disciplines working in the

same vein (See Marcus 1998: 244). Can the discourse that is beginning

to take on life in multi- or inter-disciplinary discussions be

registered and legitimated within the heart of the disciplines


I think it is an open question whether this work will end up looking

like "normal" academic science or not. Will the scholarship of

teaching and learning find its home with other pedagogical

discussions--on the margins of most disciplines? Will it gain ground

in disciplinary forums and/or emerge as an interdisciplinary field of

its own? And here's another possibility. Might the scholarship of

teaching and learning live a more punctuated life, like those

transdisciplinary, problem-solving, task forces that Michael Gibbons

and his colleagues (1994) describe as a new mode of knowledge

production? One thing we've learned from trying to encourage the

growth of a scholarship of teaching and learning so far is that here

there are no either/or's. The correct answer almost surely will be:

"all of the above."

It's ambitious to try and foster the broad development of a

scholarship of teaching and learning, but it's not starting from

scratch. As we at this conference well know, there is a strong

foundation on which to build. There are many forums in which the

exchange of information and ideas about teaching and learning in

higher education already take place. And there are many people

investing a great deal of intellectual interest and energy in them.

Many of these discussions are already squarely within the scope of

what we are calling the "scholarship of teaching and learning," and

many others are open to the ideas behind it. The aim is to enrich

these conversations, expand their scope, and ultimately help make

them so attractive and intriguing that scholars will WANT to turn to

the literature, or to a pioneer colleague at another institution or

even down the hall, for ideas and feedback as they try to make their

own classrooms better places for all students to learn. As

intellectually compelling work in the scholarship of teaching and

learning becomes better known, teachers will not have to reinvent the

wheel, but can build on -and contribute to-- what their colleagues

have already achieved.


Gibbons, Michael, Camille Limoges, Helga Nowotny, Simon Schwartzman,

Peter Scott, and Martin Trow. 1994. The New Production of Knowledge:

The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies.

London: Sage.

Marcus, George E. 1998. Ethnography through Thick and Thin.

Princeton: Princeton University Press.