TeachingGraduate What’s the Problem? Turning Teaching Questions into Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Research

AHA Session 272
Monday, January 5, 2015: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
Sutton North (New York Hilton, Second Floor)
Laura M. Westhoff, University of Missouri–St. Louis
Lendol G. Calder, Augustana College
Keith A. Erekson, LDS Church History Library
David P. Jaffee, Bard Graduate Center
Leah Shopkow, Indiana University Bloomington
Laura M. Westhoff, University of Missouri–St. Louis

Session Abstract

What do you do with a recurring problem in teaching? The options for teachers are: deny it, shove the problem under a rug, or blame kids today. Or teachers can study the problems they encounter with the same curiosity and professional methods of inquiry they routinely give to other intellectual and historical problems. The latter option leads to a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).  In recent decades, with support from history journals, conferences, professional societies, and graduate programs, SoTL has gone mainstream. In fact, SoTL has so reshaped the expectations and practices of history teaching that many now regard a field in history SoTL as important for success in the academic job market.

What does it take to turn a teaching problem into a research opportunity? This workshop session addresses the growing interest among graduate students and history teachers in learning more about how to do history SoTL. Participants will learn to explain what history SoTL is, including its prevalent methods, signature questions, foundational assumptions, and key debates. Participants will then work together under the guidance of an established SoTL scholar to frame their own discovery projects.

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