You’ll notice by my picture that I like doggies! They have so much to share – and they do ask questions of you, but the best part is the unconditional love they always give you – even if you are too busy to take them for that walk.
To me teaching is sharing – sharing is teaching. We all have something to share – with our families – with students – with colleagues – with our communities. The sharing becomes part of scholarly teaching. Most of us are scholarly instructors. We read, plan, teach, reflect, change and read some more. It’s when you share those plans (be public) with peer review, discussion, evidence, and evaluation that builds and develops our teaching.
I remember attending a conference on teaching and learning in the late 1990s that talked about a concept, the “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” (evolving into SoTL). It was an interesting concept to me because I thought that’s what we all did as a matter of course – sharing – questioning – building – reflecting- and sharing some more. Teaching is public. But it’s our sharing, questioning, criticism, and evaluation in a public way that actually creates the scholarship. So, is there SoTL at Yavapai College? Yes, I can think of several things:
- Summer & Winter Institutes – review (and some friendly criticism) and evaluation from peers from which we develop further
- TeLS and the way we are sharing here – I’m sure there will be some review and (kind) criticism too!
- Faculty Committees
- Our Gen Ed process over the past year or so – a great scholarly exercise
- Free classes we take at YC
- Our Quality Initiative Project – comparing delivery methods in our courses
- Sharing in our division meetings
- Sharing in scholarly journals or at a conference
Some of the best SoTL, for me, begins in conversations in the hallway – questions on a particular assignment, quiz, or project spark conversation and, perhaps, action by both parties. So, what’s the right question? It’s the one you really want to know – How did you do that? What did you use? What are the resources? Where can I find more information? Who else can I speak with? Once the question is asked I research what I don’t know (and want to know more about), follow up and build my knowledge base and, hopefully, I’m the one that shares next time when someone asks me a question.
We all have experiences – from our education – from our careers – and from life – that gives us gifts to share when others ask – our SoTL so to speak. So, remember to ask the right questions – share your gifts they are important, and they contribute to the tapestry of life!