SoTL: Next Steps toward Social Justice
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328 SoTL: Next Steps Toward Social Justice Delores D. Liston and Regina Rahimi As we have stated throughout, the aims of this volume ultimately reside in an interest to encourage transformative education for students and teachers through the practice of SoTL. Our work demonstrates interest in recognizing that the work of teaching and learning ought to represent the idea that we are communities of learners (Huber & Hutchings, 2005), and the relationships among us are critical to the experiences of classroom practice (hooks, 1994, 2003; Freire, 1998, 1970/2006; Palmer, 2004). In seeking to examine relationships, it is necessary to recognize and appreciate the diverse perspectives that teachers and students bring to form this praxis. As stated in the introduction, this volume seeks to “solidify the foundation of social justice as fundamental to SoTL” and to “explicate and highlight the interlocking frameworks of SoTL.” As we noted in the introduction, SoTL has already made great strides in revolutionizing teaching practices in higher education through encouraging faculty to integrate scholarship and teaching. This step has gone a long way toward releasing the tension that faculty feel as they are pulled between their teaching duties and scholarship requirements. Through SoTL, teaching is enhanced while generating publications to satisfy requirements for promotion. But relieving this tension between scholarship and teaching in a “publish or perish” environment is not the sole revolution that SoTL promotes. SoTL, by redirecting attention to the scholarly aspects of both teaching and learning, simultaneously enacts an even more profound and dual revolution : transforming teachers and learners into scholars and thereby opening the door to the potential of SoTL to support education as transformation toward a more just society. This text provides an opportunity to examine critical and transformative pedagogy from the perspective of our own classrooms in institutions of higher education. SoTL: Next Steps Toward Social Justice | 329 Broadly examined across a number of disciplines, this text has explored practices that have helped students and faculty benefit from the examination of teaching and learning . Through examining diverse views and uses of SoTL, the authors in this volume have demonstrated provocative ways to improve conditions for communities of learners and honor the values of social justice. The authors in this volume have shared incredible examples of their own classroom practices, self-reflections, and impact on social justice issues. Included are SoTL practices from the disciplines of sociology, nursing, education, health, anthropology, biology, and chemistry, among others, demonstrating that SoTL can prove meaningful for any content area. As the authors in this volume have shared, as we examine our classroom practices, we can (and, we argue, ought to) examine how those practices help us all become more aware of community, more interested in our role as members within the community, and more appreciative of the diverse perspectives members of the community provide. Underscoring all of the chapters in this volume is the concept that we as scholars, through the study of our teaching and learning, can have a meaningful impact on all members of the community, including those of us who have been marginalized and underrepresented. The authors in this volume have in their own classrooms worked toward examining their practice with the goals of social responsibility and, in many cases, civic engagement. The authors in this volume have reminded us that SoTL can address issues of inequality through raising awareness of classroom practices that may overtly or more subtly contribute to oppressive hegemony through the pedagogy offered in the class (Atkinson and Grether; Benton Lee and Kayongo-Male; Ross and Stevenson; Garno and Bennett). Through this volume, we are reminded that even our student evaluation instruments carry biases, and these can be examined to elevate practice, not just in the microenvironment of the classroom but in the larger campus community, and can ultimately generate greater equity throughout the profession of teaching (Atkinson and Grether; Lake and Rittschof). We are also reminded in this volume that teachers have roles as mentors and peers and those can be hugely significant as agents of change for marginalized groups (Benton Lee and Kayongo-Male). This text has presented multiple examples of the use of counternarratives or counterstories as a practice to disrupt harmful grand narratives that serve to hinder social justice (Farver and Dunn; Ross and Stevenson). The authors in this volume remind us that SoTL is a mechanism for the recognition of social and cultural capital within any and all disciplines of study. We are also asked to consider the importance of self-reflection...