"Inventing the Future," in Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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"Inventing the Future," in Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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Inventing the Future

From 1968 to 1975, I spent much of my time as a faculty member helping to create a new medical school at Michigan State University. I became particularly interested in the clinical work of faculty members in medicine. Many of my professorial colleagues were physicians who cared for patients while also doing research and teaching. They read the medical literature voraciously to ensure that the clinical care they provided patients (and modeled for students) was state-of-the-art.

Many of them also conducted clinical research, both informally and formally. They carefully documented their diagnoses and treatment plans. They followed patients to track the course of treatments and responses. Periodically, they published sets of cases illustrating the efficacies of different interventions. At times, they moved from the systematic documentation of their clinical work to "clinical trials," more formal experimental studies in which experimental and control groups are compared over time. Thus, medical faculty not only engaged in scholarly healing; they contributed whenever possible, and in various ways, to a scholarship of healing.

I have often thought about my MD colleagues in recent years as I worked on the scholarship of teaching and learning. I have come to think of teaching as the clinical work of college and university faculty members. We serve our students by teaching them, just as medical faculty serve their patients through treating them. But while clinical research is a commonplace of clinical medicine, its equivalent remains rare in university teaching.

Even if promotion and salary were not intimately tied to the pursuit and publication of scholarship, most professors would feel an obligation to conduct some sorts of inquiry. Certainly, medical faculty accept a moral and pragmatic responsibility to monitor their clinical work and do whatever can be done to improve its impact. Isn't it odd that a parallel sense of responsibility has been so rare in college teaching? Our colleagues whose work in the scholarship of teaching fills this volume exemplify what I see as an emerging sense of this imperative. Their cases attest eloquently to the seriousness with which they accept this obligation.

Scholarly Fidelity

As I studied the cases in this volume, a single word kept forcing itself into my consciousness: fidelity. So much of the scholarship of teaching and learning is motivated by a spirit of faithfulness; such work expresses a deeply professional commitment to the role of professor as teacher, mentor, steward, and public servant. There are four kinds of fidelity to consider:

  • to the integrity of the discipline or field of study;
  • to the learning of students one is committed to teach and to serve;
  • to the society, polity, community, and institution within which one works; and
  • to the teacher's own identity and sense of self as scholar, teacher, valued colleague, or friend.

The commitments listed here are not random. They remind us of the deeper meanings associated with the role of professor and professional. The primary meaning of "profess" is to profess one's faith, one's commitment, and one's life to service. A "professional" is someone who directs her intellectual and practical accomplishments to the service of her society and community. A member of a learned profession dedicates his understanding and skill to making complex judgments in the interests of his clients.

The cases in this volume illustrate each of these kinds of professional fidelity. They often overlap. The very same action by a teacher can reflect, for example, both commitment to the integrity of the discipline and to one's students. They occasionally conflict, as well. Thus, in order to pursue a goal consistent with the interests of the students, the teacher may have to challenge some expectations of the institution.

To teach, for instance, a scholar needs to transform a discipline as he knows it into a "school subject." The introductory course in American history is rarely organized as an historian understands and thinks about the field. It has been reframed to be more appropriate to novices. Similarly, a course in psychology typically follows a well-practiced organization and perspective. But does there come a point where the school subject has drifted so far from the teacher's conception of the discipline that the integrity has been irreversibly compromised? And how does this sense of integrity interact with other commitments and "fidelities"?

Several of the cases in this volume are instructive in this regard. In the work of Mills Kelly in history, Donna Duffy in psychology, and Mona Phillips in sociology, we observe, in each case, a teacher-scholar who finds that the school subject lacks the defining characteristic of the discipline. For Kelly, the survey course bears little resemblance to the dynamic field of investigation and richness he knows as history. For Duffy, her course on abnormal and personality psychology rests on an older conception of the field rather than on the contemporary perspective she would prefer to take. For Phillips, the form of the course has drained it of both the intellectual zest and the emotional impact that the systematic study of their social world should offer to students. The challenge for these scholars is how to redesign their course to reflect more faithfully the discipline they have come to love and understand.

When Mills Kelly eschews the traditional Western Civilization survey course at Texas Tech University for a more thematic, focused, and methodologically sophisticated course, he is enacting his sense of the integrity of the discipline of history, which he feels is violated by the superficial survey. History, for Kelly (and many others), is not a superficial race through time, a high-speed journey "from Plato to NATO." It is problem-centered, not answer-anchored. It digs deeply into a period, unearthing contradictions, complications, and subtleties. These are features not encountered in the traditional survey. So he redesigns his course, drawing on the power of the new instructional technologies, to offer his students a chance to experience the depth and texture of historical reasoning and analysis. Will this work? Can students learn world history in this manner? How will they respond? What will they learn? What attitudes will they develop? Note that his concerns about fidelity to the discipline clearly cross over into questions reflecting his commitments and responsibilities to students.

Donna Duffy teaches one of the most popular courses in psychology, the study of abnormal psychology and personality. This course has traditionally focused on psychopathology, a topic that students typically find fascinating. Neuroses and psychoses, schizophrenia and character disorders, ink-blots and dream analysis—these are classic topics in the psychology of personality. But Donna, who teaches at Middlesex Community College, knows that the field of psychology has been undergoing a sea-change in how it treats these topics. A growing body of psychologists—Duffy among them—has helped to engineer a veritable paradigm shift in the field. Modern psychological theory has transferred much of its attention from deviant and abnormal behavior and its contextual determinants to an engagement with understanding the miracles of resilience, survival, and success against the odds. Donna not only believes that her students will learn more effectively from that perspective, she believes that her orientation is more faithful to the emerging changes in her discipline. And as reported in her case, she has been studying how the new course is learned and understood by her students. Her fidelity to the discipline and to students also entails a sense of responsibility to the institution as she works with colleagues to explore questions that are crucial to the success of community college students.

When Mona Phillips engages in the teaching of sociological theory, she is deeply troubled by her students' difficulties with understanding theory. She is even more concerned with her failure to help them experience the joy of curiosity and inquiry, the thrill of speculation, the excitement of systematic explanation and deep understanding. If they cannot experience the cognitive and emotional concomitants of sociological understanding, she has not fulfilled her obligations as a steward of her discipline; she has failed to profess her own understanding and her love of knowledge (philo-sofia). So Mona sets out to restore for her students the excitement she associates with learning sociology. Her efforts are motivated by a concern for the integrity of sociology, for the intellectual and emotional lives of her students, and also, I believe, her own values and identity as a scholar.

Dennis Jacobs' work reflects a different dynamic of commitments. As he tells us in his case study, his scholarship of teaching has its genesis in seeing the significant consequences of student failure. He recognized that those students who do not succeed in introductory chemistry courses are frequently unable to pursue long-held career goals, such as becoming physicians. He then asked how he might be able to teach the course more effectively and inventively in order to make it possible for those students to succeed. In shifting the burden of responsibility from one borne exclusively by the students, he asserted that a significant portion of the "failure" was one of teaching and not solely of learning. There began his efforts at course redesign and evaluation.

Dennis also ruefully reports a paradox. "Some colleagues find it ironic that as I move deeper into the scholarship of teaching, I'm actually doing less teaching, but I would claim it's important to have this time for analysis and reflection." To pursue the scholarship of teaching more vigorously, he has had to become a less active teacher. He wonders if this is a fundamental contradiction, an irony of sorts.

I would argue that, far from being a contradiction, Dennis' paradox stands as a deep truth. It is true of other clinical domains as well. My colleagues in medicine who both care for patients and conduct clinical research on the quality of care must arrange to care for fewer patients in order to conduct their research with integrity. In this sense, fidelity to students may conflict with fidelity to one's obligations to the institution or even to the integrity of the discipline. On the other hand, we may have a conflict between two aspects of fidelity to students: to those immediately in one's tutelage and to those more universally committed to the study of one's field. Here is where the obligations of scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching may conflict.

I believe I could argue in each of these cases that the scholarship of teaching reflects a convergence of disciplinary, moral, communal, and personal motives. If one is truly devoted to one's discipline, one is committed to transmitting and developing faithful conceptions and understandings of the discipline in students. Thus the integrity of the discipline leads to a sense of what is best for the students. The community expects no less from us; and we expect no less from ourselves.

How might these webs of commitments and responsibilities shape the work of higher education over the next five or ten years? How will they help us invent the future? In what follows, I will describe changes implied by the scholarship of teaching and learning at three levels—in our work as individual scholars, in the character of our institutions of higher education, and in the conception of the profession.

Changes in the Work of Individual Scholars: A Convergence of Methods

As the scholarship of teaching and learning moves to a more central place in the work of faculty, a number of changes will ensue or be implied. As illustrated by the cases in this volume, these changes include new models for teaching and learning, new relationships with colleagues, new career trajectories and options, and new conventions and "genres" for sharing work with colleagues. My focus here, however, given the focus of this volume on approaches to the scholarship of teaching and learning, is a change in our conception of scholarly methods.

In modern times, we regularly distinguish between two kinds of method: the methods we use in our research, on the one hand, and our methods of teaching, on the other. In the older traditions of the university, however, these two aspects of method converged (or were never separated). The methods of scholarship and the methods of teaching were identical; one's "methods" were those strategies used to marshal evidence in a systematic and persuasive manner for instructing one's students. Both pedagogical and scholarly arguments involved warrant (evidence) and explanation, in a persuasive rhetorical form. It is ironic that the two have not only drifted apart; they are seen as competitive.

When we think about the methods of research, we think of work unfolding over time. No one gets an idea and immediately begins to "do research." We recognize that research nearly always begins with general questions that need to be refined, with a stage of early design often leading to a formal proposal, and with preparatory or pilot work. The philosopher David Hawkins referred to the "preparation" period in scientific research, which can often take longer than the active empirical or experimental work itself.

We also recognize that research does not end with data collection. There ensues a long period of analysis, reconceptualization, writing and/or speaking, and dissemination of results. As Ernest Boyer observed in Scholarship Reconsidered, scholarship is incomplete until it is understood by others. Preparing your findings so they are understood and accepted by others is a serious challenge. Moreover, it is a powerful process for sharpening those findings. In a study of physicists, anthropologist Elinor Ochs found that when investigators were required to stop their research in order to prepare and present interim results, they engaged in powerful rethinking and synthesis. Having to present their work to colleagues was not a deflection of energy but an enhancement to the investigative process. In short, reflecting on one's investigations in order to present them to others engages the scholar in deeper thinking about her findings, and hence a deeper understanding of her own work.

Interestingly, we have not thought of teaching in this same way; there has not been a realization that good teaching is not simply more teaching, nor that the best teaching may require periods of reflection and analysis. This, of course, is the argument put forward by Dennis Jacobs and indeed, in various ways, by all of the case authors represented in this volume. I would vigorously affirm their conviction. Reflection and analysis are as essential for the scholarship of teaching as for any other kind of scholarly work. I believe that as the scholarship of teaching and learning takes hold, and as we generate a powerful body of work from the efforts of individual scholars, the distinction traditionally made between the methods of teaching and those of research will gradually disappear. Each will be understood as a variety of methodologically sophisticated, disciplined inquiry. Each demands activities of design, action, assessment, analysis, and reflection.

Institutional Transformations: Teaching Academies

I believe that in the long run advances in the scholarship of teaching cannot be sustained by the efforts of isolated scholars working alone or in loose networks. Institutions in which these scholars work must develop more formal structures that merge the institution's commitments to both teaching and inquiry. These institutions can then serve as platforms for the work of scholars of teaching, as sanctuaries for their efforts, and as forums for their scholarly exchanges. Movement in this direction is indicated in many of the cases in this volume, which recount how the work of the individual scholar was supported by, or helped to foster, broader initiatives within the institution. In a previous paper entitled "Visions of the Possible," focused on institutional support for the scholarship of teaching and learning, I outlined several models through which local institutions can develop capacity for the scholarship of teaching by developing "teaching academies." That paper is available on the CD-ROM accompanying this volume, but I will describe two of its models here as well.

My first model—the teaching academy as interdisciplinary center—draws together faculty members whose scholarly interests include teaching and learning but who may not find a sufficient group of colleagues for this work within their own academic departments and professional schools; the idea behind this model is to overcome intellectual isolation by creating a new, multidisciplinary community of shared interests and work. Think, in this regard, of women's studies centers, and how such centers have provided a kind of intellectual home for scholars from a variety of fields—history, economics, literature, and other areas—making possible important new work and the development of a new field. Historically, such centers made it possible to engage with important issues, to build knowledge, and to create new outlets for the work. The journal Signs, for instance, developed out of the Women's Studies Center at Stanford, and remains one of the primary scholarly journals in the field. At first these centers had a shaky sort of existence (publication in Signs was not held in high regard in its early days), but over time more stable, secure entities evolved. Stanford now houses the Institute for the Study of Women and Gender because the work done in these centers became more and more legitimate in the departmental and professional school homes from which scholars originally migrated to find more hospitable settings.

Or think of area studies and the centers for, say, African or Asian studies that began to emerge a couple of decades ago. Philanthropic foundations were extremely important in helping develop area studies. Here again we saw the phenomenon of building community across disciplines. In any given department you were likely to be the only Africanist. But, if you could develop an African studies center, you might gather together fifteen people on the campus, along with graduate students, and begin to find colleagues and to establish a kind of intellectual gravitas. You remained both historian (or geologist) and Africa scholar. Happily, universities and foundations found reasons jointly to support these efforts, which have in turn influenced the work and shape of many fields.

This kind of evolution is one of the things we would want for centers dedicated to the scholarship of teaching and learning, as well. In the best cases, scholars retain dual citizenship in both disciplinary department and center—and we would also hope for this for faculty affiliated with centers for the scholarship of teaching.

It should be said in reference to this first model that interdisciplinary structures entail both strengths and potential weaknesses. My colleague Larry Cuban recently completed a study of teaching and research at Stanford over the last 100 years—entitled How Scholars Trumped Teachers—and one of his themes is that at Stanford interdisciplinary entities were far more likely to innovate in teaching and curriculum than entities located in a single department. How does this happen? Many departments treat teaching the same way they treat research. That is, I wouldn't dream of telling my departmental colleague what she should investigate in her research. Neither, in most departments, would I dream of telling her what she should teach. Most departments in most research universities support a conception of academic freedom in which all aspects of the faculty member's intellectual work is fully under her or his control. Curricula thus reflect the tastes of faculty members rather than a more superordinate conception of what and how students might best learn the field. But, as Larry Cuban shows, when you move to an interdisciplinary center, you leave behind some of these predispositions; making an active choice to join such a center, faculty are choosing to do something new. At Stanford an example would be the human biology curriculum, which cuts across several schools and many departments, and which allows new and different work both in the research that faculty conduct and in their teaching and curriculum development.

The handicap of such interdisciplinary programs is that the reward structure continues to go through the department. You can't get tenure in women's studies, or area studies, or human biology, but only in economics, or history, or biology. I'm not unhappy about that. Centers and institutes are intended to be more flexible and adaptive than their more conservative departmental godparents. But we must recognize that there is an essential tension between these structures, which would have to be dealt with if we took certain views of what teaching academies might look like.

My second model is the teaching academy organized around technology. My vision here is of a teaching academy whose reason for existence is connected to rapid developments in the use of technology in higher education. Technology is the 300-pound gorilla that no one can ignore, and this new element in all of our lives has had a healthily disruptive impact on our old habits.

For example, many faculty members are now asking serious questions about teaching and learning: How do we know these new technologies are effective in fostering student learning? What does student learning look like, and how do we know it when we see it? What's the difference between the kind of learning that occurs in traditional venues and the kind that occurs in technologically mediated settings?

The first advantage of this model of the teaching academy is that it builds on the fact that just about everybody agrees that teaching, learning, and technology pose serious research questions. Most universities have already committed significant resources to the uses of technology. And, since technology is not something you simply plug in, such research questions spawn a much larger set of inquiries about the curriculum, the design of instruction, and assessment, thereby encouraging a more general spirit of inquiry about teaching and learning.

There's a second advantage as well: To call something scholarship is to claim that it's public rather than private, that it's susceptible to peer review and criticism, and that it can be built upon by others. What technology has done in much of our pedagogy is to make the private public—through course Web sites, through the posting of syllabi online, through electronic resources such as the Crossroads Project developed by Randy Bass (a faculty member from Georgetown University, and a 1998 Carnegie Scholar) for the American Studies Association—not coincidentally, perhaps, an interdisciplinary field. On Randy's site you can see syllabi from American Studies courses around the country and also read annotations of these syllabi both by the people who created them and by others who bring relevant experience as reviewers. Similarly, the American Historical Association has established a Web site where peer reviewed course portfolios will be available. And at the Carnegie Foundation, as well, we are developing an online gallery of multimedia prototypes for documenting and displaying the scholarship of teaching and learning; examples from this site are available on the CD-ROM. My point is that through resources like these we have moved a good distance toward a public and exchangeable discourse about teaching and learning, which is a key ingredient in transforming conversations about teaching and learning to a scholarship of teaching and learning that occupies a central role in a discipline or interdiscipline, and on the campus.

There are many possible models of the teaching academy, certainly. The two here are meant to be illustrative, and to open up some of the issues entailed in forging such structures. I will end this section with what is both a hope and a prediction—that a wide variety of approaches to supporting the scholarship of teaching will evolve over the next decade. Indeed, the cases collected here make clear that institutions, programs, and departments must find their own ways to move in this direction. As demands for accountability become more commonplace, institutions must develop their capacities to ask hard questions about teaching and learning in order to explain their priorities, their expenditures, and their plans. This sort of institutional research can be pursued defensively, protecting the school's exposed flanks from attacks by skeptics. But accountability (I might call it institutional fidelity) can also serve as a powerful rationale for encouraging and supporting the work of faculty members whose research focuses on the instructional mission of the campus.

Changes in the Profession: The Future of the Doctorate

Efforts in the scholarship of teaching have led my colleagues and me at the Carnegie Foundation to conclude that both the doctorate and the culture of doctorate-employing institutions must change. There is a growing mismatch between the responsibilities that most college and university faculty members undertake on a daily basis, and the preparation they have received as they earned their field's highest degree. This observation prefigures the future for both the Carnegie Foundation and CASTL. While continuing our efforts at fostering a scholarship of teaching and learning for current faculty members, we are obliged to direct attention toward the programs that prepare future faculty members—doctoral preparation programs.

In urging such work, we join a long tradition of concern with doctoral preparation for faculty roles. In 1896, the University of Chicago's first president, William Rainey Harper, observed:

It is an opportune moment to lay emphasis upon the work of teaching as distinguished from that of investigating. There is danger that the importance of teaching may be overlooked. The young doctor sometimes forgets that the institution in which he works is under obligation to furnish the best possible instruction to the students whom it has gathered within its walls. … If a man is unable to teach, he cannot rightly receive an appointment in the University. If, after having been appointed, he shows inability to teach, The University, in justice to its students, must without question find someone to take his place who is able to teach. (383-384)

Some thirty-four years later, a new president at Chicago, Robert Maynard Hutchins, would lay the responsibility for this problem at the feet of Ph.D. programs. In his inaugural address, Hutchins urged the university to recognize that the primary function of the Ph.D. program is to prepare college and university teachers, not to prepare investigators. Neither man truly believed that those who prepare individuals for the doctorate must necessarily choose one emphasis or the other, either investigation or pedagogy. However, each felt deeply that the role of doctor as teacher was already receiving but the shortest of shrift.

Carnegie's emergent work on the Ph.D. shares this view, but our foundational claim is a different one: that a college professor is a member of a learned profession. A professional takes upon herself the obligation to serve others through exercise of the intellectual, practical, and prudential talents that her community has made available to her through education. Rather than make impossible choices between doctor as researcher and doctor as teacher, I argue that possessors of the doctoral degree assume the responsibility to serve as stewards of their discipline or profession. The doctor must take responsibility for the quality of the discoveries and inventions made in the field, the uses to which such knowledge is put, the critical review of the work of others who offer new ideas and proposals, and the instruction of the next generation of students and future scholars.

Where have these ideas come from? Carnegie's current work on education for the professions includes a study of education for the law. In doing this study, I have become acquainted with the concept of the lawyer as "an officer of the court." That is, when you complete your training as an attorney, pass the bar, and are admitted into the practice of law, you have two often-competing roles. You are to be a zealous advocate for the interests of your client, and you are to be an officer of the court who retains an obligation always to act in a manner that preserves and sustains the system of social justice.

An officer of the court must respect codes of privacy and confidentiality, be a zealot with respect to what counts as evidence, and understand that evidence must be available to all sides of a dispute. Questions of warrant and of evidence permeate every aspect of legal professional work. It follows that one cannot learn to be an officer of the court in an elective third-year course in legal ethics, though that's the way it often is done. It is a set of ideas and practices that must pervade the educational experience.

Similarly, physicians can be caught in a conflict between acting in the best interests of their own patients, or in the best interests of the society writ large. Physicians are often caught in a bind between prescribing an antibiotic a patient desperately wants but doesn't need, and recognizing that, in some incrementally infinitesimal way, every time an unnecessary antibiotic is prescribed we raise the likelihood that resistant strains of disease causing organisms will develop. So the physician's professional obligation is to be a zealous healer of the client, but at the same time to be concerned about the public health, the commons; this is the parallel in medicine to being an officer of the court.

If we accept the notion that a Ph.D. prepares professionals (whose profession is scholarship in the broadest sense), then it too entails this sense of being "an officer of the court." Wherever the scholar goes, whether to Spelman College or to the University of Pittsburgh, whether to Middlesex Community College or to Procter and Gamble, the Ph.D. carries with it not only an entitlement to practice but a sense of the responsibilities and obligations of the role. The true professional must, if you will, be a steward of the discipline or domain in which she or he is now the recipient of the highest recognition of scholarship.

What does such stewardship imply for the form of doctoral preparation? It implies, for starters, that the scholar cannot be so narrowly prepared in the field as to have little sense of the terrain around her or his specialization. A faithful steward cannot be narrow. Moreover, stewardship entails a kind of work that is reflective, responsible, and communal. That is, a responsible steward constantly scrutinizes the quality of his or her work, subjects that work to the critical examination of others, and joins in the work of professional communities dedicated to performing the functions that best serve the greater society.

A true scholar is a well-prepared professional. She is not simply one who does the work; a scholar is someone who regularly and constantly steps back from the doing and reflects on what it means. That's why writing is so important for scholarship. Scholars are obligated to share their ideas through publication, presentation, and teaching because going public is the ultimate test of the quality of an idea. Because this process is so powerful, we institutionalize it by creating learning communities of scholars, whether they be research teams or faculties, which expect and reward various kinds of publication and "going public." Reflection is very difficult to practice in isolation.

The second aspect of scholar-as-steward is responsibility. When we take on the cloak of scholarship, we take on responsibility for seeing that the standards of evidence, of warrant, of argument are taken seriously and upheld in our own work and in the work of others; we take responsibility, in some sense, for the purity of the intellectual environment. We review each other's work, whether for publication or for promotion. In these roles, we are stewards of the discipline or domain.

Finally, a scholar is someone who is communal; she not only cannot but must not keep secrets. Scholarship entails a responsibility to "pass it on," to exchange what you have learned, what you have found, what you have invented, what you have created, with the other members of your community, assuming that they will do the same for you. This commitment is essential because the work of the community transcends the ability of any single scholar or teacher to do it. And so, the role of scholar, communicator, and teacher-scholar converge in this aspect of the obligation of the scholar.

Speaking as the president of Johns Hopkins University, the very model of the American research university, Daniel Coit Gilman (who would later be appointed first president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, an organization dedicated to pure scientific research) noted, "The scholar does but half his duty who simply acquires knowledge. He must share his possessions with others. This is done, in the first place, by the instruction of pupils" (57). In Carnegie's work to study and improve preparation for the Ph.D., we will pursue a multifaceted vision of doctoral preparation, one aimed at fostering capability along a number of scholarly dimensions, including, of course, the stewardly functions of teaching and the scholarship of teaching. Indeed, the scholarship of teaching will play an important role in our work as we seek to work with pilot programs and faculty to explore and study innovations.

We will work with a small number of leading doctoral programs (and their associated disciplinary and scholarly societies) as they experiment with different ways of defining and operating doctoral programs. Some of these "experiments" are already ongoing as part of a Preparing Future Faculty initiative or a similar program. Some will also grow out of our current efforts in the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), which will by the end of this next year involve more than 100 Carnegie Scholars (including the eight represented in this volume) working with us to develop new models of the scholarship of teaching and learning in their disciplines.

The key to our efforts in the study of the doctorate will not only be experimentation per se. Our intent is to treat these experiments as further sites and occasions for the scholarship of teaching and learning through an ongoing process of research and of convenings. Over a five-year period we will bring together those who are providing leadership in re-envisioning, reconceptualizing, redesigning, and experimenting with these variations so they can learn from each other more intensively. We will work with them to develop better ways to document, analyze, and exchange data on their programs and on the intellectual, technical, and moral development of their candidates. Learning to be a "doctor" is as suitable a focus for the scholarship of teaching and learning as learning to do chemistry or learning world history. The doctorate is the source of each new generation of college and university professionals. We must understand the pedagogical processes that nurture or corrupt their professional development.

Opening Lines, Closing Ranks

The cases presented in this volume are the efforts of individuals, nurtured by a national Carnegie program and by their local institutions. Both kinds of support are necessary. Serious scholarship depends on the creation of intellectual communities that transcend institutional boundaries and link together working scholars with shared interests and investigations. When that scholarship is directed at the teaching and learning that occur at a particular institution, its efforts must be supported locally as well. For such research, the institution plays multiple roles, as both research site and interested partner in the investigation.

In the opening lines of this essay I recalled my years as a medical educator, and the dual roles played by clinicians in medical schools who both cared for patients and engaged in research on the efficacy of care. I continued the exposition by suggesting that scholars of teaching hold analogous roles in colleges and universities; we engage in the clinical work of teaching our disciplines and we conduct research on the efficacy and character of that teaching. In medicine, we call those institutions that take seriously the dual responsibility of clinical care and clinical inquiry "teaching hospitals." They are credible sites for teaching the next generation of medical practitioners precisely because they take their work so seriously that they investigate their own practice constantly.

What shall we call those institutions of higher education that take both teaching and inquiry into teaching seriously? Shall we call them "teaching universities" to parallel the concept of teaching hospitals? That seems rather redundant. Perhaps we ought to call them the "new research universities." Unlike the old research universities, their scholarship and sense of responsibility is both external and internal, both expressive and reflexive. Those would be institutions to which we could entrust the responsibility for educating the next generation of university and college faculty in Ph.D. programs. And in the case of institutions without graduate programs, they would be those we would turn to as places that support new and current faculty in their ongoing investigations of teaching and learning. We could then close ranks behind a conception of the new research university— an institution that takes its work so seriously that it makes that work the most important focus of its own investigations.

Let me put this vision a little differently: I believe that by 2005 there will be a fundamental recognition at colleges and universities in the United States that good teaching requires serious investigation into teaching and learning. I believe we will begin to see a fundamental reconception of our shared understanding of good teaching. Ultimately, investigative work into teaching and learning will not be an intriguing aside, or an add-on, but an essential facet of good teaching—built into the expected repertoire of scholarly practice. How will we identify this shift? Faculty members will increasingly ask important questions about teaching and learning and find ways to go about answering them. Campuses will develop means to support faculty effectively in this work through teaching academies, through direct financial support, and through changes in the reward structures governing tenure and promotion. Graduate programs will develop ways to introduce the scholarship of teaching into their training. The public may even begin to recognize and value the increased knowledge about student learning and attention to effective practice. It is a future worth inventing, and one that is powerfully prefigured by the work presented in this volume.

 

REFERENCES AND RESOURCES

Boyer, Ernest L. Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. Princeton, New Jersey: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990.

Cuban, Larry. How Scholars Trumped Teachers: Change Without Reform in University Curriculum, Teaching, and Research, 1890 –1990. New York, NY: Teachers College Press, 1999.

Gilman, Daniel Coit. "Utility of Universities." University Problems in the United States. New York: Century, 1898. 43–76.

Harper, William Rainey. "Sixteenth Quarterly Statement of the President." University of Chicago Record 1. 28 (1896): 383 –384.

Hawkins, David. "Learning the Unteachable." Learning by Discovery: A Critical Appraisal. Ed. Lee S. Shulman and Evan R. Keislar. Chicago: RandMcNally, 1966. 5–8.

Ochs, Elinor, and S. Jacoby. "Down to the Wire: The Cultural Clock of Physicists and the Discourse of Consensus." Language in Society 26. 4 (1997): 479–505.

 

Publication Author: 
Lee S. Shulman
Publication Date: 
2000
Publication Date Original: 
2000-06-01 00:00:00

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