I have been on the trail of scholarship for a long time now, trying to nail down what that term means as my career in academia progresses, what it means to me as part of a teaching team and how it is recognised in parallel with research within my institution and discipline. I am driven by a recognised need to ensure equal parity of esteem for scholarship, as is afforded research (Grant and Wakelin, 2009; Boyer, 1996; Metzler, 1994). Could equal parity of esteem for scholarship retain highly experienced colleagues who may have traditionally chosen to leave the higher education sector due to lack of non-research focused career opportunities? Valuing scholarship may thus, support the pursuit, recognition and reward of excellent learning and teaching, perhaps resulting in sustainable careers in learning and teaching. It cuts to the heart of professional identity.
As recognised by Prager (2010), scholarship matters at three academic levels; within the institution, within disciplines and within HE in general. But to achieve a meaningful representation of scholarship for the purposes of development, recognition and parity, perhaps we need to go personal and take a more granular approach. This would mean considering how scholarship is experienced and played out across the many agents of scholarship throughout all the roles within a university.
Encapsulating scholarship in career progression is tricky and many institutions have fallen back onto publications and research outputs as key measures of scholarship (Boyer, 1996). Are we measuring the right thing both in terms of process, practice and outcomes of scholarship? Is there is scope for scholarship to be valued through what it provides, rather than its intellectual contribution (Hart, 2018)? As proposed by Nicholls (2007), scholarship is intrinsically focused on student learning, rather than on ‘what the teacher does’, as was originally proposed by Boyer (1990). Full recognition for scholarship will only be possible with activities and outcome measures that better represent the lived experience of scholarship. I would like to use this #LTHEchat to bring ‘Scholarship to life’; to consider scholarship’s social and cultural capital that is seen at the institutional, disciplinary and personal level. I need your help!
Please bring to the chat your ideas and experiences of scholarship. Let’s share interpretations, interrogate similarities and nuances. How about us digging into the contributions the various roles across the institutions bring to scholarship? Can this chat enrich interpretations about the process, practice and outputs of scholarship?
Boyer, E.L., 1996. From scholarship reconsidered to scholarship assessed. Quest, 48(2), 129-139.
Grant, K. and Wakelin, S.J., 2009. Re-conceptualising the concept of a nexus? A survey of 12 Scottish IS/IM academics’ perceptions of a nexus between teaching, research, scholarship and consultancy. Teaching in Higher Education. Critical Perspectives, 14(2), 133-146.
Hart, R., 2018. Valuing Scholarship. Canadian Review of Sociology, 55(2), 309-310.
Metzler, M.W., 1994. Scholarship reconsidered for the professoriate of 2010. Quest, 46(4), 440-455.
Nicholls, G., 2007. Scholarship in teaching as a core professional value: What does this mean to the academic? Teaching in Higher Education, 9(1), 29-42.
Prager, C., 2003. Scholarship matters. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 27(7), 579-592.
Stappenbelt, B., 2013. The effectiveness of the teaching-research nexus in facilitating student learning. Engineering Education, 8(1), 111-121.
Dr Sarah Broadberry (SFHEA) is a Principal Lecturer in the Animal and Equine Science department and Athena SWAN Champion at Nottingham Trent University. She chairs the School Trent Institute of Teaching and Learning Teaching and Scholarship Group. Sarah has developed expertise in team-based learning and regularly contributes to the PG Cert in Learning and Teaching and the Professional Recognition Scheme.
Here’s the wakelet from the chat https://wakelet.com/wake/sOcVcdS46cbVkBThiCD4A