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

In “Complex Journeys and Theory as Scaffolding: An Illustrated Guide to the SoTLscape,” Janice Miller-Young experiments with how illustration can contribute to the SoTL discourse. In a graphic essay consisting of four illustrations, she encourages readers to think meta about SoTL in order to situate themselves and their work within a landscape of practice. If scholars need to compare their findings with others who’ve done similar studies, a meta-level view helps them see how to look across studies and create meaning. Her illustrations pull together ideas from the literature on SoTL, identity, career development, academic development, and communities of practice. In the first two illustrations, she highlights literature that contributes to her working definition of SoTL and demonstrates how she thinks of it as a six-dimensional space. In the second two illustrations, she shows some of her own SoTL research trajectories, explores what a “landscape” might look like if we are not constrained to three dimensions, and introduces the metaphor of theory as scaffolding. Ultimately, her chapter complements the taxonomy in the previous chapter, as both present very different tools for experienced SoTL scholars to chart their path through the “SoTLscape.”