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Education faculty sotl workshopc 25 may 2016


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presentation and workshop on the scholarship of teaching and learning at the University of Johannesburg, education faculty, on 25 May 2016

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Education faculty sotl workshopc 25 may 2016

  1. 1. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning – Taking your teaching to the next level Workshop at UH Faculty of Education facilitated by Brenda Leibowitz
  2. 2. The workshop Purpose • Value of researching your teaching • Some of the challenges and opportunities • Thinking your way into a proposal Outcome • Conceptions of SOTL (via a drawing) • A research plan (via a poster)
  3. 3. 1 Research on teaching is a form of enlightenment
  4. 4. The benefits of educational research – on teaching • Taking more informed actions • Developing rationales for practices • Avoiding self-blame when teaching goes awry • Grounding us in the reality of classrooms (Brookfield, 1995, cited in Savory et al) • Allows us to develop and learn to articulate the values that lie at the heart of our work, and provide us with a sense of agency and autonomy (Rowland, 2000) • Develop educational values (Rowland, 2000)
  5. 5. Why we do educational research “The inquiry process keeps me intellectually engaged in constant refinement of my course” (Dana Fritz) “Along with showing me how to self-evaluate my classroom, my inquiry project has also helped to link my teaching with my disciplinary research” (D’Andra Orey) “As a result of my increased awareness of my students’ learning, I have made the leap to a 100% student-centred pedagogy” (Kevin Lee) From: Savory et al, 2007)
  6. 6. Further benefits • Professional satisfaction • Ability to convince and influence others • Opportunity to reflect on disciplinary research methods • Able to imagine alternatives • Provide us with credibility in departments
  7. 7. Disciplinary research remains important – even for good teaching See that you have a research trajectory in your field … and do active research in it. Try to recruit postgraduate students, go to conferences, talk at conferences, hear what others say about your subject. I feel that if you do that, then you will be a better lecturer at first-year level. The deeper you get into mathematics, the better you would, as they say, see the wood for the trees.
  8. 8. Educational research benefits disciplinary research • Sheds light on aspects of the disciplinary knowledge – how students, as users, see it • Ignites interest of students and oneself in the discipline • Can help to ‘decolonise’ the knowledge • And to contextualise it in one’s own context
  9. 9. Bridge the divide between local and formal knowledge systems We, the little ones at primary and secondary school, were transported through poems, novels, films, comic books, to worlds thousands of years away. In time, the more our imagination recreated those distant world into compelling reality, the less real our own immediate world became. As we progressively disengaged from it emotionally and imaginatively, it became less authentic, less accommodative, less attractive, unfulfilling and often hostile, as we lived in it. We lived in it without the concomitant learned habit of thinking it. Our affective imaginations progressively got anchored elsewhere. (Ndebele, 2016)
  10. 10. SOTL and Transformation
  11. 11. SOTL promotes reflection “The moment that you become conscious that it is a good idea to reflect, and you involve your class, it unleashed new energy for me, to ask the class how it works, … not only my teaching style, but in the end it has an effect on your method, your whole approach.” (Andrianetta, in Leibowitz et al, 2009)
  12. 12. 2 What is SOTL?
  13. 13. A quick definition • “where academics frame questions that they systematically investigate in relation to their teaching and their students’ learning” (Brew, 2007)
  14. 14. Thinking about teaching as a researcher ‘It requires a kind of ‘going meta’ in which faculty frame and systematically investigate questions related to student learning – the conditions under which it occurs, what it looks like, how to deepen it, and so forth – and to do so with an eye not only to improving their own classroom but to advancing practice beyond it.’ (Hutchings and Shulman, 1999:13, quoted in Huber, 2003)
  15. 15. ‘The problem’ in research v. teaching ‘Ask a colleague about a problem in his or her research is an invitation; asking about a problem in one’s teaching would probably seem like an accusation. Changing the status of the problem in teaching from terminal remediation to ongoing investigation is precisely what the movement for a scholarship of teaching is all about. How might we make the problematization of teaching a matter of regular communal discourse? How might we think of teaching practice, and the evidence of student learning, as problems to be investigated, analysed, represented, debated?’ (Bass, 1999, in Huber, 2003)
  16. 16. 2: History and Importance of the SOTL
  17. 17. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning • What we urgently need today is a more inclusive view of what it means to be a scholar--a recognition that knowledge is acquired through research, through synthesis, through practice, and through teaching. We acknowledge that these four categories--the scholarship of discovery, of integration, of application, and of teaching divide intellectual functions that are tied in- separably to each other (Boyer, 1990)
  18. 18. Before ‘SOTL’
  19. 19. Other significant teaching researchers
  20. 20. Journals
  21. 21. A SOTL Society
  22. 22. SOTL Conferences
  23. 23. SOTL in South Africa
  24. 24. SOTL in the South University of Johannesburg 24 – 26 July 2017
  25. 25. 3: From scholarly teaching to scholars of teaching
  26. 26. From reflection to research to scholarship “Oh I can tell you I am very critical about my own work and I’m very aware of all my gaps. ... But for the first time when I started to read what [the student] wrote about me, it gave me a better understanding of what she is getting from me, or let me rather put it, what I have helped her to start to see. ... I looked through that booklet that we got after the award ceremony, it can be quite interesting to go and analyse what were the things, what are the common threads in the students’ comments.” (Cyril)
  27. 27. The scholarly teacher and SOTL Scholarly teacher • Remains current in their disciplinary or content knowledge area • Learns about different teaching styles and approaches • Improves student learning within their own classroom by investigating the impact of their teaching on their students • Improves student learning within their local community (department, college, school) through collecting, sharing, and communicating the results of their work on teaching and learning. A Scholar of T+L • Knows and cites the literature on teaching and learning • Relates the literature on teaching and learning to discipline specific questions and issues • Publishes and shares their work to disciplinary or teaching community audiences to expand discussions on teaching and student learning. Glassick et al, in Savory, et al (2007)
  28. 28. Criteria for Scholarship • It should be public • It should be susceptible to critical review and evaluation • It should be accessible for exchange and use by other members of one’s scholarly community
  29. 29. Why might we publish?
  30. 30. Professional Motivation Do you want to undertake educational research to improve your own practice? Or Do you want to make a career of educational research?
  31. 31. There is room for both within a department
  32. 32. 4: Some challenges and opportunities
  33. 33. The problem • Scholarly teacher v. Scholar of teaching and learning • Need to have a critical mass of scholars of teaching and learning in all faculties/departments But: the challenges are: • The educational discourse • Lack of recognition • Lack of a community of practice
  34. 34. Voices from Western Cape Academics
  35. 35. 5: Beating the challenges
  36. 36. The benefits of either Working alone Working in groups
  37. 37. My own experience
  38. 38. 6: More challenges: ethics and validity concerns
  39. 39. Validity • Construct validity (have correct operational measures been been established for the concepts being studied?) • Internal validity (are causal relationships indeed “infer-able”?) • External validity (can it be replicated for another case) • Reliability (can the same study be replicated)
  40. 40. Or, according to Patti Lather (1986) • Triangulation (multiple sources) • Face validity (member checks) • Construct validity (systematised reflexivity which gives indication of how a priori theory has been changed in the light of the data) • Catalytic validity (so that participants gain self- understanding in order to transform themselves)
  41. 41. Ethics as relational • Confidentiality • Causing harm (Bran-Barnett, Gristy) • Power relations • Exploitation • Dignity • Relational v procedural ethics (Lanas and Rautio)
  42. 42. Responsibility What responsibilities arise from the privileges I have as a result of my social position? How can I use my knowledge and skills to challenge, for example, the forms of oppression disabled people experience? Does my writing and speaking reproduce a system of domination or challenge that system? (Len Barton, in context of disability research, quoted in Gristy, 2014.)
  43. 43. The outcome “It’s been a wonderful life, and when I die, I think I hope to have the satisfaction of knowing that perhaps a lot of young people have enjoyed my subject. What more can I ask for?” (Percival)
  44. 44. Let the light shine in • Education research can lead to enhanced student learning and lecturer satisfaction • It depends on the quality and process of the research • An ethical approach (in broad and narrow terms) should be adopted at all times
  45. 45. References • Adendorff, H. 2001. Strangers in a Strange Land: On becoming scholars of teaching. London Review of Education • Brew, A. and Sachs, J. 2007. Transforming a University: The scholarship of teaching and learning in practice. Sydney University Press. • Cousin, G. 2009. Researching Learning in Higher Education: An introduction to contemporary methods and approaches. Routledge. • Huber, M. 2003. Disciplines and the development of a schoarship of teaching and learning. In: R. Blackwell and P. Blackmore (eds) Towards strategic staff development in higher education. Maidenhead: SRHE and OUP • Kreber, C. 2013. Authenticity In and Through Teaching in Higher Education: the transformative potential of the scholarship of teaching and learning. Routledge. • Leibowitz, B., Ndebele, C. and Winberg, C. (2013) The role of academic identity in collaborative research. Studies in Higher Education. DOI:10.1080/03075079.2013.801424 • Maree, K. (Ed) 2007. First Steps in Research. Van Schaik. • Murray, Rowena (Ed) 2008. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. SRHE and OUP. • Savory, P., Burnett, A.and Goodburn, A. (2007). Inquiry into the College Classroom; A journey toward scholarly teaching. Bolton: Anker. • White, S. and Corbett, M. (Eds) 2014. Doing Educational Research in Rural Settings. Methodological issues, international perspectives and practical solutions. London: Routledge
  46. 46. Doing SOTL “where academics frame questions that they systematically investigate in relation to their teaching and their student learning” (Brew, 2007). • Draw a ‘sotallist’ in an environment t close to your professional setting. • What research question would s/he ask • What does s/he do that makes it SOTL? • What attributes or characteristics does s/he have or require? • What might the benefits of his/her sotallism have on teaching and learning? (discuss your drawings in groups)
  47. 47. Further questions about your sotallist • What are the constraints s/he faces? • What are the disciplinary and research conventions s/he has to contend with? • What resources in the environment can s/he draw on? (discuss in your groups)
  48. 48. Questions towards a research plan 1. what is a good teaching research question? 2. what is an appropriate research strategy? 3. timelines 4. what support will I need (and where to find it) 5. should I collaborate with others on this research (or not)? 6. ethical considerations. Write this up into a poster
  49. 49. What is a good teaching research question • It interests you • It is based on a research problem • (v. real world ‘problem’) • The ‘answers’, ‘solution’ or explanation can be found • The answer is not overly predictable • (Nor too broad) • The answers will be interesting to others