The transformative potential of the scholarship of teaching
Keywords:SoTL, social justice, transformative potential, profesionalism
In discussing personal stances professionals might take towards their practice, Hoyle contrasts two orientations that can be placed at the ends of a continuum. The first pole, the so-called ‘restricted’ stance, is characterised by teachers relying principally on experience and intuition, and focusing on daily classroom practicalities. The second pole, the so-called ‘extended’ stance, is characterised by teachers valuing the theory underpinning practice, taking a more intellectual and rationally-based approach and holding a broader vision of education. I argue in this article that the scholarship of teaching and learning, when enacted in its ‘extended’ form, would be distinguished by two important features: a wider sense of what counts as relevant theory and a broader vision of what university teaching, and the education it is there to support, is for. The argument is built around three additional claims: (1) engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning authentically means to be motivated by a commitment to serve the important interests of students; (2) what is in the important interests of students is their own development towards greater authenticity; (3) promoting students’ authenticity has implications not just for students’ academic learning and personal flourishing but also for creating greater social justice in the world. These claims are substantiated by reference to theories of “authenticity” and learning as well as the capabilities approach to human development.
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