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Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate

Page history last edited by Kimberly 14 years, 11 months ago

Boyer, E. L. (1997). Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate (1st ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Scholarship Reconsidered can be considered one of the late Dr Boyer’s greatest books. His overriding message throughout the book is that we should expand our view of what scholarship is beyond the traditional view of published and peer reviewed work, with the goal of changing the weight tenure review boards give to different activities. Boyer had a vision, but was also a pragmatist, and knew that the major driver of faculty behavior for the beginning of their career was tenure requirements. Boyer hoped that by broadening tenure requirements, faculty will be encouraged to use their specialized knowledge to do more good in the classroom and the community. Based on his review of the history of the many meanings “scholarship” has had in U.S., Boyer suggests expanding the definition of scholarship to include:


The Scholarship of Discovery:

This is what people typically think of when they think of scholarship: creating new knowledge.


The Scholarship of Integration:

In addition to pushing the boundaries of human knowledge further out, Boyer believed that it was equally important to “give meaning to isolated facts, putting them in perspective.” Although it’s popular to define work as “interdisciplinary,” Boyer believes that putting integration as an equal to discovery will encourage a concerted effort to get a less piecemeal conception of our world.


The Scholarship of Application:

Boyer states that the primary questions here are “’How can knowledge be responsibly applied to consequential problems? How can it be helpful to individuals as well as institutions?’ And further, ‘can social problems themselves define an agenda for scholarly investigation?’” He states that the scholarship of application goes beyond “service,” because it involves applying one’s specialized knowledge.


The Scholarship of Teaching:

Boyer believed that the dichotomy between teaching and research was a false one, and makes a case that different types of scholarship enhance one another. He made the case that excellent teaching can not only give the teacher better ideas for his or her research, but is absolutely vital for transforming students into future scholars.


Ever pragmatic, Boyer stressed that it is important to develop ways to measure each type of scholarship so that they can be used for tenure decisions.


Overall, this is a short book (only 81 pages of text) that served as the ideological impetus out of which many other important works have sprung. It is a must read for those seriously interested in unlocking the power all to often trapped inside the ivory tower to improve students and communities.


Created by Andrew Kerlow-Myers


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