I spend an awful lot of time reading textbooks and novels and student papers — and I have sacrificed reading and writing about the art and craft of teaching. I want to more self-consciously research and study pedagogy, learning from the experiences and speculations of others. Even the very definition of the “scholarship of teaching” is something I want to explore… I hear a lot of talk about it, but I know I haven’t read nearly enough. | Have you?
—Mike Arnzen —Pedablogue: A New Purpose (Pedablogue)
In his Pedablogue, my colleague Mike officially comes over to the Dark Side, with a blog that he will use to examine the “scholarship of teaching”. Among other things, the “scholarship of teaching” is an effort by faculty at teaching institutions (that is, where we are primarily teaching undergraduates, rather than conducting our own research or directing the indepenent research of graduate students) to legitimize and sytematize the way we think and evaluate that part of jobs (the teaching) that our institutions have decided is most important. Composition teachers and ESL teachers have done something similar. Most college faculty members were trained in specific disciplines (English lit or critical theory) rather than the art of teaching. And the environment in which younger faculty teach is very different than that in which our more experienced colleagues earned their wings (and their tenure). So it’s good to have a space to work out these issues in a public, collaborative space.
Mike and I have had several good, long meatspace conversations about teaching and blogging… he graciously reviewed a draft of an article I’m about to send out, and he’s been a great supporter of the New Media Journalism @ Seton Hill University weblog project.
He surprised me by deciding to use his blog to focus so specifically on this issue. I see a lot of good blogging in the future.