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Berea College
Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Homepage  

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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For a good overview, introduction, and links to understanding the scholarship of teaching and learning:

Teaching Commons

Examples of Teaching Commons at other institutions


Teaching as Community Property

What does it mean at Berea and beyond to build a "Teaching Commons"?I

In a 1993 piece in Change Magazine, Lee Shulman, former president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Stanford professor emeritus of Educational Psychology, advocated passionately for the need to create a context in the academy that fosters productive and open dialogue about teaching and learning.   While the work of disciplinary scholarship is made public as a matter of course, teaching, by contrast, often happens in private, behind closed doors, remaining too often unshared.  Shulman termed this state of affairs “pedagogical solitude” and has advocated throughout his career for a more productive and less lonely open exchange and study.  Taking up Shulman’s cause, Pat Hutchings and Mary Taylor Huber (2005) call for the building of a “teaching commons” a conceptual community space devoted to inquiry and innovation through teachers' active engagement with the scholarship of teaching and learning. 

 At Berea and beyond, the notion of the “Teaching Commons” has emerged from over two decades of work that seeks to make understanding our teaching and learning as worthy of thoughtful scholarly inquiry and vigorous discussion and public exchange as any other serious disciplinary or interdisciplinary topic.  For a teaching-focused institution, building a teaching commons makes tremendous sense.  Ideally, this space provides easy access to helpful resources, open exchange and collaboration around our teaching practices as well as evidence about student learning, a place that is both virtual and part of our daily lived practice as educators. 

This Teaching Commons belongs to all of us as a community of educators.  Its success and growth will depend not only on our willingness to engage with it but also on our collaborative efforts to build and tend a virtual as well as a physical, embodied educational public arena that invites genuine inquiry and dialogue about teaching and learning.  



“Teaching as Community Property: Putting an End to Pedagogical Solitude.”

Citation: Lee Shulman (1993), “Teaching as Community Property: Putting an End to Pedagogical Solitude.” Change 25.6.

Argues that if teachers wish to see greater recognition and reward attached to teaching they must change the status of teaching from private to community property. Need to reconnect teaching to the disciplines; The problem with student evaluation forms that are identical across the disciplines; More. (Abstract from Academic Search Premier)

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The Advancement of Learning: Building the Teaching Commons

- Mary Taylor Huber; Pat Hutchings; Lee S. Shulman (Foreword by)

Call Number: 378.12 H877a 2005

A publication of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, this important resource builds on the work of Carnegie's best-selling books, Scholarship Reconsidered and Scholarship Assessed. The Advancement of Learning explores the premise that the scholarship of teaching and learning holds the key to improving the quality of higher education.

The Advancement of Learning answers questions readers are likely to have:
  • What are the defining elements of the scholarship of teaching and learning?
  • What traditions does it build on?
  • What are its distinctive claims and possibilities?
  • What are the implications of the scholarship of teaching and learning for academic culture and careers?
  • How does it shape the student experience?
In addition, authors Mary Taylor Huber and Pat Hutchings introduce a new concept that expands on the scholarship of teaching and learning--the teaching commons. As the authors explain, the teaching commons is a conceptual space in which communities of educators committed to inquiry and innovation come together to exchange ideas about teaching and learning and use them to meet the challenges of educating students for personal, professional, and civic life.

Scholar of Teaching & Learning

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Leslie Ortquist-Ahrens
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Center for Transformative Learning
Draper 111
CPO 2157
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