The new definition of scholarship:
How will it change the professoriate?
Arthur L. Dirks, December 4, 1998
Dirks, Arthur L. (1998). The new definition of scholarship: How will it change the professoriate? Published on-line by author (http://webhost.bridgew.edu/adirks/ald/papers/skolar.htm). Bridgewater, MA. Accessed [date].
This paper originally prepared for HIED 641 Effecting Change in Higher Education, Graduate College of Education, Univ. of Mass. Boston.
There is little that brings greater honor to a college or university faculty member than reputation as a scholar. For most people in higher education, the concepts of scholar and scholarship are nearly synonymous with the role of college or university teacher. A lexical definition of a scholar is given as "a learned person, esp[ecially] in language, literature, etc.; an academic" (Thomson, 1996, p. 910). Similarly, scholarship refers to "the methods and standards characteristic of a good scholar" (p. 911). Certainly, there are scholars who do not teach, but "scholarship" is recognized as the fundamental qualification for most academic positions.
Professions define their terms through practice. Higher education in America has evolved certain operational definitions of scholarship that have, in turn, shaped the academy that has created those definitions. The measure of one's scholarship is the fundamental criterion for all meaningful rewards in colleges and universities, including retention, advancement, perquisites and recognition. Over time the focus of scholarship, and thereby its definition, has become quite narrow and increasingly has been seen by the public as irrelevant to society's goals for higher education. In much of higher education, "to be a scholar is to be a researcher" (Boyer, 1990, p. 2). Public frustration is then aimed at the reward structure and its emphasis on irrelevant scholarship at the expense of teaching, but thoughtful commentators have suggested a reexamination of the definition of what is rewarded.
The purpose of this paper is to follow the principal attempts to redefine scholarship and situate them in the context of faculty work in higher education. The study concludes that redefinition of scholarship is a viable means of realigning faculty work to public goals for higher education, and that it does so within existing organizational structures. It also suggests that some current efforts to restructure the work of the academy are counterproductive to developing the rich learning resources that can be realized thorugh the effective redefinition of scholarship.
This paper examines the history and principal features of the current operationalized definitions of scholarship. Perspectives on epistemology suggest a redefinition of scholarship that integrates tightly teaching, research and service to the benefit of a rich and unified approach to learning. The paper looks at a framework for evaluating any and all forms of scholarship so that they will have greater parity in recognition for rewards, and at new suggestions for modifying the life cycle of an academic career. Finally, the paper explores a few trends that could undermine or obviate these changes in scholarship.
The topic has been the subject of considerable attention in the literature on higher education in the past decade. The American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) has undertaken major initiatives in examining faculty roles and rewards, resulting in several significant publications and an annual conference. Change and Academe have focused whole issues on the nature of faculty work and maintain an ongoing discussion. The Education Council of the States (ECS) has published a number of reports and studies regarding such matters as faculty productivity, mission realignment, and academic restructuring. Lion Gardiner reviewed several thousand studies for an ASHE-ERIC report on academic restructuring for learning (Gardiner, 1994). The late Ernest Lynton published two significant works on professional service (Lynton, 1995; Lynton & Elman, 1987). Of greatest impact are two books arising from studies conducted by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, under the leadership of the late Ernest Boyer, Scholarship Reconsidered (1990) and Scholarship Assessed (1997), which was completed by Charles Glassick and associates. This paper draws on these and other sources for its observations.
Today's approach to faculty work is the legacy of more than a century of scholars descended from their scholarly mentors. The original mission for Harvard College in 1636 was to "advance learning" (Boyer, 1990, p. 2). When understood as distributing classical Humanist thought to many people, however selectively, this was perhaps as close to a common goal as America's colleges could get, through the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Entrenched in scholasticism and classics, few colleges considered embracing a role as a broad public resource, and research would have been out of the question. The foundation for a service mission was laid by the Morrill Act of 1862. The act emphasized studies in applied subjects, particularly courses "related to agriculture and the mechanic arts" (Goodchild, et al., 1997, p. 262).
The beginnings of scholarly focus and specialization appeared in Harvard's course catalog of 1870, which was arranged by subject field. Academic departments organized by discipline soon emerged. Through the remainder of the century, as increasing numbers of new faculty had studied in German universities, specialization and research became increasingly prominent at many major institutions. The department offered a group of "research-judging peers" at immediate hand (Hawkins, 1979).
Teaching remained important, nevertheless. When Daniel Coit Gilman assumed the presidency of the new Johns Hopkins in 1876, he not only committed his new institution to research, but cited the first priority as its teaching function (Hawkins, 1979).
Harvard granted the first sabbatical year in 1880, implicitly endorsing faculty activity that needed to occur without interference from teaching duties. In 1891, Harvard President Charles W. Eliot institutionalized a tripartite role for faculty: "In the first place they teach; secondly, they accumulate great stores of acquired and systematized knowledge in the form of books and collections; thirdly, they investigate" (Hawkins, 1979).
The concept of public service found its mention at other institutions, particular state universities. The service role became a function of departments when George MacLean of the State University of Iowa stressed the public utility of schools of political and social sciences in 1904. By 1915, governments were applying pressure on universities for the services of "staff expert in economical and social affairs." It had become a feature of the Progressive Era (Hawkins, 1979).
In 1916, University of Wisconsin President Charles Van Hise created his "Wisconsin Idea." His approach to the university mission clarified and integrated the three parts of higher education work. Generally, the research function was considered mutually supportive with teaching. Van Hise wanted each faculty member determined to "become a recognized scholar in his field and begin at once some piece of productive work" (Hawkins, 1979). Furthermore, under the Wisconsin Idea, putting the intellectual resources of the university to the service of the public of the state became a distinct feature of the mission. It was a matter of collective responsibility by the institution, as well as for individuals. At that time, "Service as an individual activity was understood to be the application of the individual's professional expertise to problems and tasks outside the campus" (Lynton, 1995, p. 8).
This new research and professional service work was limited to certain high profile universities. Until WWII, faculty at most liberal arts undergraduate colleges and land-grant colleges were unaffected by these new efforts for research and service, although some did become involved in research activities and publication (Lovett, 1993).
After WWII, the Cold War researchers became isolated and disconnected from a publicly visible role. The research initially occurred at only a few institutions, but was extended to hundreds of other campuses with other missions in 1960-1980. "[I]t did not matter that in most disciplines only 10 percent of the faculty produced 90 percent of the original research . . . [but it] did matter that those faculty activities became highly rewarded and were thought to be the keys to professional standing and mobility" (Lovett, 1993, p. 36). The rewards for teaching declined in proportion to the rewards for research, and professional service became valued even less. The term service referred to "good institutional, disciplinary, and general citizenship," and "'service' came to denote good deeds rather than creative intellectual effort" (Lynton, 1995, p. 9).
Eugene Rice (Rice, 1996) outlines seven assumptions about the role of the academic professional, which evolved and solidified during the expansion period of 1957 to 1974. Those assumptions are:
1. Research is the central professional endeavor and focus of academic life.
2. Quality in the profession is maintained by peer review and professional autonomy.
3. Knowledge is pursued for its own sake.
4. The pursuit of knowledge is best organized by discipline (i.e., by discipline-based departments).
5. Reputations are established in national and international professional associations.
6. Professional rewards and mobility accrue to those who persistently accentuate their specializations.
7. The distinctive task of the academic professional is the pursuit of cognitive truth. (p. 8)
These assumptions have shaped the structures that comprise American higher education today.
The rising dominance of the research role is evident in the research on it. In 1969, 21 percent of faculty in all sectors in a national survey said it was difficult to get tenure without publishing. By 1989 that figure had doubled. The biggest jumps were seen in the premier teaching sectors of the Carnegie mission classes: Comprehensive institutions went from six percent agreement to 43 percent agreement, and Liberal Arts faculty went from six percent to 24 percent agreement (Boyer, 1990, p. 12).
The results of these and other studies suggest the significance of the research culture in higher education today. A 1994 study shows that less than ten percent of faculty at 392 institutions believed they were rewarded for being good teachers (Gardiner, 1994, p. 137). Over a third of faculty (35 percent) believe that pressure to publish reduces the quality of teaching, with 43 percent agreement from those under 40, who are typically working for advancement (Boyer, 1990, p. 48). Twenty-nine studies show that the quality of research made less than two percent contribution to quality of teaching (Gardiner, 1994, p. 141).
The process of becoming a faculty member, obtaining the terminal degree, is an immersion in the research methodology of the discipline. Nevertheless, the vast majority of faculty prefer to teach than research, and they would rather be evaluated on the basis of teaching effectiveness than on their research and publication (Russell, 1992, p. 11). One in twelve new faculty in Comprehensive and Liberal Arts colleges, regarded as primarily teaching institutions, would prefer to be doing more research than they are (one in eight new faculty are actual doing research at those institutions). Among senior faculty, one in fifteen want to do more. Overall, women are doing just over half the research of men, and are half-again as interested as men in doing more. Overall, new faculty are slightly more interested in doing more research than senior faculty (Schuster, 1997, p. 5).
Alternative doctoral programs do not appear to be viable alternatives. A Doctor of Arts (D.A.) degree was initiated in 1970, and by 1982 some 24 institutions offered the degree. It was intended as a teaching alternative to the Ph.D., but it fell out of favor with the end of the postwar growth period, and was unlikely to compete favorably in the long term (Lynton & Elman, 1987, pp. 143-144). Recently institutions have begun to modify the PhD programs to support preparation for teaching.
Discipline priorities, which tend to narrow definitions of scholarship, are thought to crowd out local needs. Since faculty are clustered in departments by discipline, their advancement depends upon their work in the discipline as assessed by department colleagues_not necessarily their work in support of the institution and its mission. Options for moving to another institution are dependent upon standing in the national perspective of the discipline. For their own interests, faculty perceive themselves as part of the whole system of higher education, not limited to the particular institution or sector to which they currently belong (Russell, 1992, p. 11).
For faculty, a focus on research, where knowledge is constructed, takes the lead over teaching, yet teaching is what the public generally sees as the purpose of public higher education. Faculty know their research communities well, but they are poorly connected to the stakeholders who pay taxes, send their students to school, and employ the graduates (Gilliland, 1997, p. 32). The public feels its interest lies in "college graduates who can get jobs and advance in given careers; education comparable to the tuition charged; solutions to state, social, economic concerns, including improved public school systems and meeting workforce training needs" (Layzell, et al., 1994, p. 101).
Clearly, the "research culture" has become dominant, yet it is problematic for the public. The tension has increased to the point that if the academy fails to address the issue from within, policy makers will impose their own solutions from without.
The current structure of academic organization is shaped and controlled through a policy of shared governance. Under the doctrine, faculty control academic matters, including curriculum and their own standards for advancement. Many in the academic world believe it is critically important to freedom of thought, inquiry and speech that this fundamental principle be maintained. If it is to continue, the academy must find methods to realign its work better to serve public goals while preserving its autonomy and freedoms. Some thoughtful critics have offered a critique of our understanding of scholarship, itself, and they suggest new ways of thinking about the foundation of the academic enterprise. They believe there is a unity at the core of public and academic goals.
The nature and creation of knowledge
Several scholars have begun to see change in the definition of scholarship as demanding a change in our understanding of epistemology. Eugene Rice constructs a matrix of knowledge based on dichotomies of active practice vs. reflective observation, and concrete, connected knowing vs. abstract, analytic knowing. He points out that the push for a more concrete, connected way of knowing requires a multidimensional pedagogy. He quotes Cornell West as saying, "To put it crudely, ideas, words, and language are not mirrors which copy the 'real' or 'objective' world but rather tools with which we cope with 'our' world" (Rice, 1996, p. 16). The stuff of scholarship is all intertwined within itself and connected to real life, not separate from it. The faculty who would engage this pedagogy must have grounding in a rich model of scholarship in order to become what Rice calls a complete scholar:
The complete scholar would have a sense of the way in which different forms of scholarly work interrelate and enrich one another, and would be capable of moving with ease from one scholarly task to another. The tensions between connected knowing and analytical capabilities, on the one hand, and reflection and active practice, on the other, would be nurtured and built upon rather than resisted and minimized (p. 22).
Ernest Lynton saw an important value in the integration of professional service and applied learning with formal cognitive learning. He thought that in professional programs, the clinical components in the traditional approach only serve to apply classroom learning. He argued that knowledge often emerges from the complexity and rigors of practice. Knowledge is, "dynamic, constantly made fresh and given new shape by its interaction with reality. Its application constitutes learning for the scholar, arising out of his or her reflection on the situation-specific aspects of the act of application" (Lynton, 1995, p. 7).
These values are important, not only for the individual scholar, but for the institution itself. The integration of professional service into instruction should be an institutional goal, and Lynton warns against the burden for it being placed on faculty. Professional service "must be carried out either as part of the workload in lieu of other assignments or, within the usual limits, as compensated overload funded from internal or external sources" (Lynton, 1995 p. 16). This gives professional service legitimacy and importance as an institutional priority.
Gary Krahenbuhl constructs a conception of the teaching-research-service activities in terms of the results: knowledge transmission, knowledge generation, and knowledge application. Instead of being three slices of a pie, they are overlapping rings (see figure below) (Krahenbuhl, 1998, p. 21).
In this diagram, the areas of overlap represent some of the most valuable learning for both students and faculty. It constitutes a powerful graphical model for creating and sharing a rich base of knowledge and understanding
Redefining scholarly work and evaluating it
In a 1994 survey, over half of all institutions wanted to clarify their goals for a better balance between institutional mission and faculty rewards. At least three-quarters wanted to improve the balance of faculty work, and 80 percent were trying to expand the meaning of scholarship (Glassick, et al., 1997, p. 12).
Perhaps the most influential event in redefinition efforts was the publication in 1990 of Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, by Ernest Boyer, former director of Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching (Boyer, 1990). Boyer advanced four forms of scholarship appropriate for faculty work: the scholarships of Discovery, Integration, Application, and Teaching.
The scholarship of Discovery (pp. 17-18) is generally what is understood as "research." It is committed to developing new knowledge, and focuses on the question, "What is to be known, what is yet to be found"(p. 19).
The scholarship of Integration (pp. 18-19) is focused on developing perspectives on knowledge. It is ". . . serious, disciplined work that seeks to interpret, draw together, and bring new insight to bear on original research"(p. 19). This scholarship is represented by work at the boundaries of a discipline where it overlaps and connects with other disciplines, and seeks answers to the questions, "What do the findings mean? Is it possible to interpret what's been discovered in ways that provide a larger, more comprehensive understanding?"(p. 19).
The scholarship of Application (pp. 21-23) focuses on the questions, "How can knowledge be applied to consequential problems? How can it be helpful to individuals as well as institutions? . . Can social problems themselves define an agenda for scholarly investigation?"(p. 21). This is often characterized as "service," which is not currently given much reward. Boyer argues that service activities must be connected to faculty specialty, must be serious, demanding and accountable, and flow out of the expertise in the specialty.
The scholarship of Teaching (pp. 23-24) "begins with what the teacher knows." Boyer notes that teaching is an involved intellectual activity:Teaching is also a dynamic endeavor involving all the analogies, metaphors, and images that build bridges between the teacher's understanding and the student's learning. Pedagogical procedures must be carefully planned, continuously examined, and relate directly to the subject taught (pp. 23-24).
The scholarship of Application, or service, figures prominently in Boyer's and Krahenbuhl's constructions. Ernest Lynton pointedly focused on its importance, seeking to rehabilitate its reputation and recognition of value for the institution as well as faculty. He argued that professional service is "work based on the faculty member's professional expertise that contributes to the mission of the institution" (Lynton, 1995, p. 17).
Lynton listed the scholarship attributes as applied to professional service. He noted that professional service is "the antithesis of rote and routine," includes discovery and originality, involves reflection, and results in learning that is shared with colleagues (Lynton, 1995, pp. 25-27). He also outlined the characteristics of a faculty member who integrates professional service with teaching. Such faculty would keep up on basic research, understand the connections of the discipline with cognate areas, have some professional experience outside the academy, and be able to help others understand complex issues and complicated relationships (p. 134).
If Krahenbuhl's depiction of faculty work, above, has validity, these forms of scholarship are merged and integrated to the benefit of the student. The work life of the faculty member becomes multi-faceted and structurally complex. He likens the use of faculty time and its impact to that of a surgeon or attorney:Simply put, then, a surgeon's work extends beyond the operating room, the lawyer's beyond the courtroom, and the professor's beyond the classroom. It is the integrate of a rich set of activities that leads to full effectiveness in each profession, and to full benefits for the patient, client, or student (Krahenbuhl, 1998, p. 22).
He notes that policies that focus excessively on classroom activity can lead to "an impoverished learning environment" where more time is committed to "the least engaging forms of instruction at the expense of those that are the most stimulating and meaningful" (p. 21).
Arthur Chickering also outlined a reconfiguration of faculty work in seven challenges, which coincide with much of this redefinition of scholarship (Chickering, b. 1996, pp. 3-6). He calls for a shift from focus on content to focus on learners, a shift from information transfer to emphasis on conditions for learning, moving beyond conceptual abstractions to application, moving from narrow specialties to broad grasp of complexities, reducing distance between mentor and learner, moving from isolated work to collaboration, and becoming open to learning and professional development. These challenges would be served best by someone resembling Rice's complete scholar, above.
If higher education is to be successful in implementing new definitions of scholarship, ways must be found to evaluate them and adjust the rewards to encourage them. This calls for reexamination of evaluation criteria and the way faculty careers might be structured.
The answer, according to the Carnegie Foundation, is to use the substantially universal criteria that are part of the everyday language of the academy (Glassick et al., 1997, pp. 25-36). In this way all forms of scholarship can coexist with some hope of parity in one realm of evaluation, rather than in separate ones. Boyer and his colleagues surveyed evaluative criteria used in a variety of forms of scholarly activity, such as that for jurying scientific research, for jurying scholarly writing, for evaluating dissertations and other advanced graduate work, and for assessing teaching effectiveness. They determined that there are common threads that run through all of these forms of assessment, which they identified as clarity of goals, adequate preparation, use of appropriate methods, yield of significant results, use of effective presentation, and reflective critique (see appendix). They suggest that these provide a framework in concepts familiar to the academy for evaluating a broad range of intellectual activity and scholarly work.
Once scholarship is more broadly defined and evaluated according to common criteria, reward structures must be created to motivate and institutionalize the change. If the change in what constitutes scholarship is an epistemological one, and if the faculty career as a scholar is all about epistemology, then the faculty career must change to support changing definitions of scholarship.
Altering faculty careers
The shape of an academic career today is both protected and shaped by the institution of tenure, and the proposals that support these changes in the meaning of scholarship begin with tenure as a given fact of academic life. In the typical faculty career, there is a decade of educational investment, and another decade or more of gaining mastery. One's career is marked by an "apprentice" period of appointments as a graduate assistant or instructor or lecturer, and a "journeyman" period of junior faculty work_a commitment demanded by few other occupations. Once prepared, there is no real option for setting up one's own shop as a medical or legal professional might. "Transportability" of one's skills and abilities is largely dependent upon scholarship in the discipline, and becomes negligible at about the ten-year mark. The exceptions are a small fraction of faculty_nationally recognized stars who can attract other scholars and outstanding students. A turned-out scholar has few options.
It is evident that the three faculty ranks (assistant professor, associate professor, professor) provide insufficient career landmarking or incentives for development, as steps and raises and position mobility offer in other industries. In terms of undergraduate teaching alone, there is little a faculty member can accrue through longevity that would make her or him demonstrably more valuable than less experienced faculty.
Boyer recognized that the early part of an academic career is the most productive for faculty in terms of scholarly contributions to the discipline. He also noted that there are generalizable peaks and valleys in the productivity of many intellectual professions in terms of volume, alone. For instance, lyric poets peak at age 31, decline sharply to level off at age 44, and then rebound at 75, while astronomers peak later, at age 44, decline to 68, then rebound. Others peak even later _ novelists peak at age 46, then decline generally to 72.
Boyer argues that rewards should acknowledge and exploit the phases of academic careers. He suggests that rewards and professional goals should be adjusted in 3-5 year periods, and proposes "creativity contracts" to allow focus on different forms of scholarship at different times in career:Here's how the creativity contract might work: We can imagine a faculty member devoting most of his or her early career to specialized research. Then the scholar might wish to examine integrative questions==taking time with a mentor on another campus to discuss the implications of his or her work. Still later, the creativity contract might focus on an applied project, one that would involve the professor in school consultations or as an advisor to a governmental body. And a contract surely could, from time to time, focus on the scholarship of teaching. The professor might agree to revise a course, design a new one, or prepare new teaching materials, using video or film segments, for example. All such activities should, of course, be well documented and carefully assessed (Boyer, 1990, pp. 48-50).
This approach would allow the faculty member to focus early in her career on scholarship in discipline during the probationary period. She would have the opportunity to refine thoroughly her understandings in field, to network, to attend conferences in field, etc. In a later phase, the focus would shift to the scholarship of teaching and learning, then possibly to scholarship of application and integration. Still later, if capable, she might shift to leadership roles, where the pressure to produce new scholarly work would not be so important as leadership of those who do so.
Krahenbuhl argues that there is no single ideal template for faculty life or responsibilities. He offers versions of his diagram of overlapping activities, above, in which the various rings vary in size, and notes that faculty differences and discipline differences will influence variations, both among faculty and over time. He suggests that faculty agree upon a mix of responsibilities on an annual basis (Krahenbuhl, 1998, p. 22).
Several commentators have argued that faculty must be understood as assets of the institution. As problematic as this conception may be on some counts (assets are typically "owned"), faculty do represent considerable value to the institution and, for public colleges and universities, to the state. Fundamental to the use of assets are concerns for their development, maintenance, protection, and enhancement, and for their appropriate application for the greatest benefit of the organization (Layzell et al., 1994).
The conception of developing faculty as long-term assets can lead to support and encouragement for restructuring academic careers, and to revised faculty development programs. Many faculty might be encouraged to spend sabbaticals, summer, or other time in commercial or governmental environments, for instance, to refresh their perspectives, while others can be given assignments that will develop their expertise in areas where it will most enhance their value as assets (Rice, 1996, p. 30).
Fundamental to these conceptions is the current dominance of tenure as a primary factor of employment in higher education. The future of tenure is not entirely secure, nor is it as ubiquitous today as it may have been. Changes in tenure could change academic careers in other ways that would work against the development of a rich, multi-faceted, integrated scholarship.
Some Trends of Concern
Contract employment, non-tenure lines and part time faculty
If tenure is weakened, or contract systems replace it, scholarship itself may become irrelevant. Only two-thirds of all full-time faculty employed seven or fewer years are tenured or in tenure tracks today (Schuster, 1998, p. 50). Krahenbuhl points out that in his diagram of faculty work, above, the overlapping areas, "signify areas of student life related to student learning that would be lost if tenured faculties were replaced by a transient workforce" (Krahenbuhl, 1998, p. 22).
At the new Florida Gulf Coast University, only multi-year contracts were offered new faculty. Over 20,000 applications were received for 120 positions, and they hired most of their first or second choices. However, the contract renewal criteria are still being worked out and it is unclear how scholarship will be evaluated (Chait & Trower, 1998, p. 28).
One way of circumventing tenure and expanding the transient faculty percentage is the use of adjunct faculty. Part-time faculty are not supported for professional development, nor included in considerations or incentives for scholarship. In 1992, 42 percent of American faculty were part-time, with projections for 46 percent today (Schuster, 1998, p. 49). Clearly, this form of cutting personnel costs does not support development of the richly integrated scholarship outlined above.
Restructuring of the academic environment
The idea of viewing faculty careers in terms of cycles is more complex, but creates a richer scholar and teacher than some current proposals to develop separate lines for teaching, research, and service. James Mingle at the Education Commission of the States argues, "like American business, we are going to have to 'customize' our delivery system, not to eliminate the model of faculty as researcher, but to add equally-competitive and attractive models that will motivate and reward different kinds of productivity to serve society's needs" (Mingle, 1992, p. 12). Among other changes, diversity of faculty jobs would create a diversity of rewards for faculty that conflicts with many fundamental collegial values. The employment market may drive pay differences among fields, but equity is the prevailing mode once a faculty member is hired.
One model that his been advanced is the "enterprise model." This model would "unbundle" higher education into freestanding service enterprises that would operate independently and sell their services to each other. Departments would become "Teaching Enterprises" that would market their services to the Education Enterprises. This would "give each enterprise greater freedom to set incentive structures tailored to specific objectives and the needs of particular customers" (Armajani, Heydinger, & Hutchinson, 1994, p. 13). There would be no incentive to support the rich model of faculty scholarship as defined above. As its authors indicate, "Conflicting interests (for example, between individual scholarly interests and overall institutional objectives) are separated into different organizations" (p. 24).
Alan Guskin, in arguing for restructuring the learning experience through technology calls for the restructuring of faculty roles in the process. He sees a reconfiguration of faculty work in three ways: as presenter, guide to resources, and assessor of learning; as a coach and discussion leader; and as mentor (Guskin, 1994, p. 24). As he describes it, the approach appears to rely much less upon the faculty member's specific preparation in discipline, but more as a facilitator of student learning experiences. If this pedagogy were to come to pass, it might obviate the need to develop the rich scholarly model.
Summary and Conclusion
The shape of institutional mission and faculty work have changed and evolved with the historical events and context of American higher education over time. Beginning in the scholastic Humanist tradition of teaching, many institutions acquired a service function after the Civil War, and some added the research function shortly thereafter. Societal needs prompted attention on research at many schools as the twentieth century progressed. As the faculty role grew in the shaping of institutional functioning and rewards, so did the impact of their training in key graduate schools and the significance of disciplines. By the end of the 1980s, incentives for faculty work were very heavily focused on research and writing for publication, which the public had come to see as an increasingly serious distortion of the goals it sought for higher education institutions. The concept of a faculty member as a scholar, and the definition of scholarship had come to refer exclusively to research at virtually all four-year institutions, regardless of Carnegie mission class.
As higher education gained public attention for its confused priorities, and as cost pressures began to mount, controlling authorities began looking for ways to refocus efforts on teaching. Academic critics and researchers began turning attention on their own house. The Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching, and others, called for reexamination of what it means to be a scholar, and proposed broader definitions of scholarship. Scholarship was proposed as four forms of scholarly activity: scholarships of Discovery, Integration, Application, and Teaching. The importance of professional service as a function of teaching has been asserted. A new conception of the operation of teaching, research and service sees them, not as isolated activities, but as unified and integrated work in support of learning. This critique has become a reassessment of epistemology, proposing that new knowledge and learning arises from the overlaps of the functions, and that exclusive focus on teaching or research can lead to impoverished and sterile learning.
Implementation of change in faculty work cannot be ordered summarily, given the influence of faculty on their own advancement. Ways must be found to encourage change in how faculty attend to their work. Redefinition of scholarship must be combined with changes in incentives, which requires that all the forms of scholarship in the broader definition be evaluated with parity. The Carnegie Foundation has proposed that there are some universally accepted criteria that are embedded in assessment of all forms of scholarly work that can be brought to the surface and explicitly applied to evaluate with parity. Those include clear goals, adequate preparation, appropriate methods, significant results, effective presentation, and reflective critique.
The most effective implementation of a new approach to scholarship may call attention also to the structure of faculty careers. Current structures encourage lengthy service at one institution, which needs to be enriched by a career-long series of challenges and periodic opportunities to refocus one's work. Proposals call for an evaluation process that provides flexibility and encouragement for faculty to pursue new challenges.
There are, however, some trends that would restructure faculty employment in a way that fails to support the integrated scholarship of a new epistemology. These changes in defining scholarship, by working through existing structures, fail to address cost. Moves toward contract and part-time employemnt offer attractive economies, while circumventing all discussion of epistemology. Contract and part-time employment reduces faculty influence over their own advancement. It supports expedient approaches to target hiring for specific activity, and provides few incentives and no support for developing the faculty as institutional assets. Other models look at significant change in much faculty work, moving from roles founded in authority in the discipline, to something akin to the ancient tutorial system of the nineteenth century. These new roles are couched in terms of learning facilitator, or coach, and often are motivated by cost pressures and the availability of evolving technology.
Surveys indicate four out of five institutions today are reexamining scholarly activity. Historically, few things change quickly in higher education. However, new and reinvented institutions operating in new and significantly different structures are creating a new diversity in American higher education. There is increasing pressure on traditional institutions as resources are redistributed in a more diversified market. It may be that events in society will overtake the process of priorities realignment before a critical mass can be achieved. It remains to be seen whether a richer, or a more expedient approach to learning will prevail.
Evaluating scholarship. From Scholarship Assessed (Glassick et al., 1997, pp. 25-36).
Clear goals:Does the scholar state the basic purposes of his or her work clearly?
Does the scholar define objectives that are realistic and achievable?
Does the scholar identify important questions in the field?
Adequate preparation:Does the scholar show an understanding of existing scholarship in the field?
Does the scholar bring the necessary skills to his or her work?
Does the scholar modify procedures in response to changing circumstances?
Appropriate methods:Does the scholar use methods appropriate to the goals?
Does the scholar apply effectively the methods selected?
Does the scholar modify procedures in response to changing circumstances?
Significant results:Does the scholar achieve the goals?
Does the scholar's work add consequentially to the field?
Does the scholar's work open additional areas for further exploration?
Effective presentation:Does the scholar use a suitable style and effective organization to present his or her work?
Does the scholar use appropriate forums for communicating work to its intended audiences?
Does the scholar present his or her message with clarity and integrity?
Reflective critique:Does the scholar critically evaluate his or her own work?
Does the scholar bring an appropriate breadth of evidence to his or her critique?
Does the scholar use evaluation to improve the quality of future work? [Return to top]
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