Cover

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-xvi

Travel between the disciplinary and interdisciplinary poles of the scholarship of teaching and learning has always been exciting—sometimes easy, sometimes arduous; sometimes welcomed, sometimes feared. The tensions were evident early on, when Sherwyn Morreale and I edited an exploratory collection of essays titled...

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Acknowledgments

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p. xvii

Edited books, of course, are not created without contributors. Thus, I would like to thank my wonderful chapter authors for their stimulating ideas, hard work, and attention to deadlines and details. In addition, I am grateful to Erin Frost, PhD student in English at Illinois State University, for her assistance in preparing the manuscript. Thanks also to Indiana University...

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Introduction to SOTL In and Across the Disciplines

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pp. 1-12

This volume explores interdisciplinarity in the field of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL). A broad definition of SOTL is “systematic reflection on teaching and learning made public” (Illinois State University 2011). A range of important changes in higher education have occurred over the last two to three...

PART 1 SOTL IN THE DISCIPLINES

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1 Difference, Privilege, and Power in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: The Value of Humanities SOTL

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pp. 15-33

As Kathleen McKinney notes in the introduction to this volume, one path of the development of SOTL has been its expansion from primarily disciplinary inquiries toward cross-disciplinary methods and questions—as reflected in the structure of this book. While reflections on SOTL itself have appeared all along...

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2 Contributions from Psychology: Heuristics for Interdisciplinary Advancement of SOTL

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pp. 34-53

Psychology is a field that incorporates information from biology, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy, among others, in the study of human behavior. Psychology is also a field that has long paid attention to teaching and learning. In fact, one of the fathers of psychology in America, Harvard psychologist William James, gave a...

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3 SOTL and Interdisciplinary Encounters in the Study of Students’ Understanding of Mathematical Proof

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pp. 54-73

For students working toward a major in mathematics, learning to appreciate the need for proof and learning to create and write proofs present significant challenges. Much as using the scientific method through hypothesis confirmed by experiment is how scientists discover new information, making conjectures and trying to...

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4 Plowing through Bottlenecks in Political Science: Experts and Novices at Work

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pp. 74-92

As a political scientist, I am a fortunate participant in the scholarship of teaching and learning field. Scholars in some disciplines face a stark divide between their disciplinary research—what Ernest Boyer (1990) called the scholarship of discovery—and their scholarship of teaching and learning work. For example, biologists studying the behavior of certain amino acids gain no leverage from...

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5 The History Learning Project “Decodes” a Discipline: The Union of Teaching and Epistemology

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pp. 93-113

Thirty years of the scholarship of teaching and learning have provided a plethora of books about teaching, containing potential assessments, advice about course design, teaching tips, and prescriptions. Much of this work, which arises from practical classroom experience, useful as it may be, treats symptoms—specific...

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6 Assessing Strategies for Teaching Key Sociological Understandings

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pp. 114-132

Teaching and learning in all disciplines requires decisions about ways of thinking and practicing, and judgments about threshold concepts needed in a discipline, followed by decisions about strategies for teaching and assessing learning. Ways of thinking refer to subject-specific skills and knowledge, including familiarity with...

PART 2 SOTL ACROSS THE DISCIPLINES

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7 Square One: What Is Research?

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pp. 135-151

A team at a large research-intensive university is working to enhance the value of the SOTL research on their campus. After a series of meetings and surveys, they become aware of significant amounts of SOTL activity on campus, but it is being carried out in isolated pockets. The team has aspirations for their university...

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8 Fallacies of SOTL: Rethinking How We Conduct Our Research

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pp. 152-168

We serve at a large metropolitan research university where scholarship of teaching and learning initiatives have been well supported by administration and where many faculty members across multiple disciplines have successfully published their SOTL research. Our institution offers substantial incentives for excellence in SOTL research, and the initiatives have greatly increased the visibility of...

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9 Exploring Student Learning in Unfamiliar Territory: A Humanist and a Scientist Compare Notes

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pp. 169-185

This chapter is written in an unconventional form to underline our shared interest in exploring student learning through genres that are not conventional to our disciplines. Our work did not start out as a collaborative project between faculty from very different disciplines to investigate what happens when students engage the learning process in ways atypical of their disciplines, what we came...

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10 Talking Across the Disciplines: Building Communicative Competence in a Multidisciplinary Graduate-Student Seminar on Inquiry in Teaching and Learning

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pp. 186-199

Although the scholarship of teaching and learning has its origins in disciplinary research on teaching and learning, the field distinguishes itself from this more traditional research by also seeking an audience in other disciplines. Instead of being reported solely in the instruction sections of disciplinary conferences and journals...

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11 Getting at the Big Picture through SOTL

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pp. 200-220

Context, such as the specific disciplinary content material, instructor characteristics, and classroom environment, is crucial to acknowledge when we are attempting to understand the learning process (Gibbs 2010). But are there not general principles related to human learning that will transcend context, for example, motivational...

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12 Growing Our Own Understanding of Teaching and Learning: Planting the Seeds and Reaping the Harvest

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pp. 221-239

Cross-disciplinary scholarship of teaching and learning provides many challenges but also holds much promise. One of these challenges stems largely from our disciplinary silos from which we gain both our academic identity and the tools with which we conduct our scholarship. These silos can be the cause of competition, misunderstanding, and devaluing (Poole, this volume). The promise of SOTL is that...

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13 Navigating Interdisciplinary Riptides on the Way to the Scholarship of Integrative Learning

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pp. 240-252

Increasingly, scholars call for grounding the study of teaching and learning in ways that cut across disciplinary boundaries (McKinney 2009). At least one scholar has even challenged any preference for a scholarship of teaching and learning that relies solely on a single discipline, saying that such a limited grounding risks it going...

Contributors

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pp. 253-256

Index

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pp. 257-268