Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Chapter 4

Langemeyer, I. (2019). Zur erkenntnistheoretischen, praktischen und politischen Relevanz einer Hochschulbildungsforschung. In Hochschulbildungsforschung (pp. 57–72). Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.

I think my key message from this chapter was:

The authors state that as of now there is no point to pay attention to inclusion or exclusion criteria for a definition of SoTL; but to engage in a process that answers questions, and develops the foundation for a scientific (wissenschaftlich) sovereignty (autonomy) and independence: which always begins with exploring herself as a science.

(Langemeyer, 2019, p.70)

The authors here make a case for an independent and distinct HE Educational research. Which would not blindly follow the ideal of a value free science but would focus on how and if science can progress not only through research but also through teaching. The authors postulate that teaching is as significant for the development and progress of science and disciplines as research. Here HE educational research would highlight the power relationships and societal conditions inhibiting research independence (academic freedom?) (p.57)

SoTL thus looks into researching knowledge creation and understanding. The authors state that it is crucial to develop HE educational research as an independent discipline to fulfil the tasks of critiquing knowledge and create spaces within which humans can develop (sich an ihren Erkenntnisproblemen bilden) (p.58)

SoTL sits on the boundary of system internal research but also looks out to explore the impact of phenomena
SoTL would be interested in possibility-conditions such as how the development of disciplinary fields could lead to framework creation. The authors state that asking these questions would not just be a scholarly exercise but a science with practical and political relevance (p.59)

  • Basically the author states that SoTL needs to develop her own epistemology
  • That it cannot and should not simply be about evaluating if something we did in teaching worked or not
  • It is a wider more complex independent discipline
  • They also state that learning is subject dependent (subjektabhängig) and like medicine individuals react differently to treatment

Issues that need to be addressed:

  • 1: Do not just consider SoTL as a science of evaluating learning and teaching processes and their effectiveness
  • 2: The market has no faculty of reason, they basically critique the neoliberal influences in HE
  • 3: Teaching constitutions (Learning and Teaching Strategies) can either create conditions for opportunities or serve as a managerial control instrument, but they can also protect institutionalised processes according the the Universitas

Before SoTL can empirically research the independent conditions for scientific/academic development of subject areas it needs to establish first what academic freedom is within the frame of market competition.

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