book cover of Becoming a SoTL Scholar, edited by Janice Miller-Young and Nancy L. Chick

Open access PDF

ISBN: 978-1-951414-10-8

June 2024

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ISBN: 978-1-951414-11-5

July 2024

The scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), a multidisciplinary field that focuses on systematic investigation in teaching and learning, is now over 30 years old. No longer just a grassroots movement of individual faculty committed to taking teaching and learning seriously, SoTL has become professionalized. Becoming SoTL Scholar maps out what it looks like to be a SoTL scholar and how to get there by design.

Becoming a SoTL scholar involves reckoning with one’s academic identity, since SoTL occupies a kind of “borderland” or liminal space outside of traditional disciplines. For faculty members who become interested in SoTL, this new space is typically disorienting at first, as the scholar grows from these initial moments to ultimately finding a place in the SoTL community. This book explores what happens after that phase, after one has come to embrace the identity of a SoTL scholar. It describes the traits that determine one’s credibility and expertise as a SoTL scholar, and delves into the ongoing collaborations, research groups, and networks that form much of that necessary SoTL community.  The book also explores the possibilities for students and early-career colleagues who choose SoTL as their primary career path. Additionally, at the other end of the spectrum, our book also addresses how mid- and later-career SoTL scholars might maintain meaningful engagement and make lasting contributions to the field.

Ultimately, Becoming a SoTL Scholar illustrates the different entry points offered by SoTL and provide inspiring narratives, practical advice, and aspirational proposals for the different aspects of being a SoTL scholar.

Whether you’re new to SoTL or an experienced scholar, this captivating book ignites a passion for SoTL by redesignating it as a valuable and valued career path. The text delicately and creatively connects key debates, critical moments, and challenges in conducting SoTL inquiry. Drawing on SoTL scholars’ expertise and experiences by dividing the text into manageable areas for learning and reflection, it further provides solidarity for those learning how to navigate their careers as SoTL scholars. This is not only a book for the SoTL bookshelf but for SoTL life.

Earle Abrahamson, Professor in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, University of Hertfordshire

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