SoTL in the Margins: Teaching-Focused Role Case Studies

Keywords: teaching stream, SoTL, advocacy and outreach, community, ISSOTL

Abstract

The number of teaching-focused faculty (TFF) continues to increase, raising concerns about opportunities to engage in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) for academics who are hired to focus on teaching rather than research. Various names for these teaching-focused positions include, but are not limited to: instructional, limited-term faculty; permanent, but not eligible for tenure; equivalent to tenure-track (eligible for tenure); and casual teaching-focused. Regardless of title, TFF face a unique challenge: hired for excellence in teaching and committed to improving teaching and learning, they are often not granted support to engage in professional development or research related to teaching and learning. These and other challenges are associated with their academically marginalized positions. The authors are members of the Advocacy Committee of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL). This paper builds on a session we offered at the ISSOTL conference in Calgary in 2017 where we invited TFF to contribute narrative examples of institutional SoTL challenges and their strategies for overcoming them. We describe potential solutions to creating institutional cultures that are supportive of TFF engaging in SoTL. We finish by offering recommendations for creating a SoTL teaching-focused community within ISSOTL to provide social and professional support.

Author Biographies

Nicola Simmons, Brock University

Nicola Simmons is a faculty member in Educational Studies at Brock University (CAN) and a past Canadian VP, ISSOTL. Her work focuses on SoTL, online pedagogy, scholar identity and transition, and lifelong learning and meaning-making.

Michelle J. Eady, University of Wollongong

Michelle J. Eady is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Wollongong (AUS). Her research interests include teacher education, work-integrated learning, communities of practice, and Indigenous strengths. 

Lauren Scharff, United States Air Force Academy

Lauren F.V. Scharff is the Director for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and a Professor of Behavioral Sciences at the U. S. Air Force Academy (USA). She is a past Regional Vice President for the United States for the ISSOTL.

Diana Gregory, Kennesaw State University
Diana Gregory is the art education program coordinator in the School of Art and Design at Kennesaw State University (USA). Her work focuses on examining creativity in higher education, SoTL in visual arts, and Advocacy in ISSOTL.

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Published
2021-03-07
How to Cite
Simmons, Nicola, Michelle J. Eady, Lauren Scharff, and Diana Gregory. 2021. “SoTL in the Margins: Teaching-Focused Role Case Studies”. Teaching & Learning Inquiry 9 (1), 61-78. https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.9.1.6.