Teddy’s Reading Log 03.28.2010

Posted by on March 28, 2010 
Filed under Reading logs

Teddy’s CTCH604 Reading Log 03.28.2010

For class session 03.30.2010

McKinney’s chapter 8 discusses and explains examples of SoTL work from the perspectives of researchers in both disciplinary and institutional contexts. Various conceptualizations and definitions of SoTL exist among scholars. As I read the chapter, I began to ask certain questions. What similarities and differences will I find in cross discipline research? What similarities and differences will I find in research of interdisciplinary sectors? Such inquiry encouraged me to investigate the challenges presented by McKinney in the chapter. The need for more SoTL on learning, graduate and SoTL work, beyond the classroom levels, students as co-authors, increasing replication of SoTL work within disciplines, across institutions, across disciplines and abroad. I believe that by meeting these goals we can come to a deeper understanding about SoTL work and how it can help us to unify the movement, identify problems and acquire real answers.

In the disciplinary context, SoTL includes reflection and the sharing of results across disciplines. The input of individuals from several disciplines working together on a SoTL project constitutes a work classified as “cross disciplines”.  According to Yakura and Bennett (2003), cross disciplinary SoTL focuses on studies about similarities and differences among and between disciplines. Interdisciplinary SoTL involves studies of teaching and learning in interdisciplinary constructs.  Benefits suggested by Wiemer includes learning by those in one discipline from the SoTL work of those in another discipline, strengthening of replication and reliability of findings across disciplines that advances our profession, providing a literature that is very helpful to those who work to promote social change related to a teaching-learning agenda and reading a diverse and powerful literature to improve our individual teaching practice. Associations and disciplinary organizations can support SoTL work by identifying SoTL researchers in the field using websites and publications. Also, they can sponsor academies and institutes as well as compile bibliographies of SoTL work by discipline or field. From Management Sciences, Sociology, English to the Liberal Arts, it is clear that certain commonalities will exist throughout the research experience.

From the institution context, incentives for scholarly research such as promotion and tenure should prove to be an effective means of getting faculty to publish. Excellent instruction must be encourage by administrators that set the bar high to ensure success through SoTL best practices.  There is no single correct model of support for SoTL. McKinney cites examples in the chapter of strategies to reward, support and promote SoTL work. They include: joining the CASTL Program, self-study, campus conversations on SoTL, promoting SoTL with new faculty, enhanced student involvement, collaboration, starting a SoTL community of scholars, SoTL resources group, SoTL Summer Institute, connect SoTL to institutional mission and many others. Models of support range from well supported programs to poorly supported programs and those in between. With state funding being slimmed, many colleges and universities are experiencing the worst. Student enrollment is high at community colleges and tuition rates too. It is important that academic leaders make certain that the quality of classes remain high and retention of teachers known for their scholarly work support the SoTL movement. As campus models of support experience changes we must keep in mind the most important of matters. The delivery of a quality education to our undergraduate and graduate students!

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