Scholarship in teaching

Boyer (1990) argued there are four scholarships:

  • of discovery: basic or ‘pure’ research, the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake
  • of integration: “making connections across the disciplines, placing the specialties in larger contexts, illuminating data in a revealing way, often educating non-specialists, too”  (p.18)
  • of application: applying what we know through theory as well as practice to solve complex problems
  • of teaching.

The study that underpins good teaching is understood to include not just knowledge of good principles within a discipline, but also the latest ideas about teaching and learning. Teachers are reflecting on their teaching in ways that can be shared with a wider community of educators, and, using a variety of evidence-gathering and documentation strategies, making their students’ learning more visible.

Scholars of teaching and learning:

  • treat their classrooms and programs as a source of interesting questions about learning;
  • find ways to explore and shed light on these questions;
  • use this evidence in designing and refining new activities, assignments, and assessments; and
  • share what they have found with colleagues who can comment, critique, and build on new insights
  • disseminate their findings.


  • Murray, R 2008, The Scholarship Of Teaching And Learning In Higher Education, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England: McGraw-Hill Education. 
  • Boyer, EL 1990, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities Of The Professoriate, n.p.: Princeton, N.J.: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • Lee, S 2000, 'From Minsk To Pinsk: Why A Scholarship of Teaching and Learning?', The Journal Of Scholarship Of Teaching And Learning, 1, p. 48.