Proposal Title

What Travels? The Social Life of Classroom Inquiry and Innovation

Presenters

Mary Taylor Huber

Proposal Abstract

How can knowledge emerging from inquiry in particular classrooms and programs be of interest or use to faculty teaching elsewhere? Can it travel? And if so, what travels? Across what boundaries? Under what conditions? How far? The scholarship of teaching and learning rests on the promise that we can learn from one another's pedagogical experiences: this presentation looks at what we can do to expand and enrich the social life of our classroom inquiries and innovations.

Higher education has long fostered the robust commons created by scientific and scholarly research. But this has not been the case with teaching and learning. To be sure there have long been small groups of specialists on the teaching of this or that subject in higher education. But for the large majority, conversations about teaching and learning were local, even fugitive affairs, confined to college and departmental committees and to circles of close friends. As Lee Shulman observed in one of the key texts of the movement to build a scholarship of teaching and learning, teaching will not be fully recognized in the academy until its status changes from "private to community property." Without a functioning commons, it is hard for pedagogical knowledge to circulate, deepen through debate and critique, and inform the kinds of innovation so important to higher education today.

Circulation, of course, cannot be taken for granted. The commons has grown rapidly in recent years-and with it have come questions that are less about "supply" than about "demand" and "use." Through an examination of key cases, this presentation will look at what happens in pedagogical exchange between more or less distant colleagues, consider the possibilities and limits of what Allison Phipps and Ron Barnett call academic hospitality, and examine what it will take to make these often transitory trading zones into a genuine commons, which scholars treat as an integral part of their ways of being teachers in higher education.

Presenter Bio

The keynote speaker for the inaugural conference is Dr. Mary Taylor Huber. Mary is a senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, directs the Integrative Learning Project , and works closely with the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Since joining the Foundation in 1985, she has written widely on changing cultures of teaching in higher education and is co-author of the Foundation report, Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate(1997), co-editor of Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Exploring Common Ground (2002), and author of Balancing Acts: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Academic Careers (2004). A cultural anthropologist, with a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh , she has also written on colonial societies and is co-editor of Gendered Missions: Women and Men in Missionary Discourse and Practice (1999) and Irony in Action: Anthropology, Practice, and the Moral Imagination (2001). Her latest book, co-authored with Carnegie Vice President Pat Hutchings, is The Advancement of Learning: Building the Teaching Commons (2005).

Location

Luncheon & Keynote Address

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Nov 1st, 12:00 PM Nov 1st, 1:45 PM

What Travels? The Social Life of Classroom Inquiry and Innovation

Luncheon & Keynote Address

How can knowledge emerging from inquiry in particular classrooms and programs be of interest or use to faculty teaching elsewhere? Can it travel? And if so, what travels? Across what boundaries? Under what conditions? How far? The scholarship of teaching and learning rests on the promise that we can learn from one another's pedagogical experiences: this presentation looks at what we can do to expand and enrich the social life of our classroom inquiries and innovations.

Higher education has long fostered the robust commons created by scientific and scholarly research. But this has not been the case with teaching and learning. To be sure there have long been small groups of specialists on the teaching of this or that subject in higher education. But for the large majority, conversations about teaching and learning were local, even fugitive affairs, confined to college and departmental committees and to circles of close friends. As Lee Shulman observed in one of the key texts of the movement to build a scholarship of teaching and learning, teaching will not be fully recognized in the academy until its status changes from "private to community property." Without a functioning commons, it is hard for pedagogical knowledge to circulate, deepen through debate and critique, and inform the kinds of innovation so important to higher education today.

Circulation, of course, cannot be taken for granted. The commons has grown rapidly in recent years-and with it have come questions that are less about "supply" than about "demand" and "use." Through an examination of key cases, this presentation will look at what happens in pedagogical exchange between more or less distant colleagues, consider the possibilities and limits of what Allison Phipps and Ron Barnett call academic hospitality, and examine what it will take to make these often transitory trading zones into a genuine commons, which scholars treat as an integral part of their ways of being teachers in higher education.