Promoting Social Justice through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Promoting Social Justice through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Promoting Social Justice through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Promoting Social Justice through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


How can education become a transformative experience for all learners and teachers? The contributors to this volume contend that the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) can provide a strong foundation for the role of education in promoting social justice. The collection features contributions by an array of educators and scholars, highlighting the various ways that learners and teachers can prepare for and engage with social justice concerns. The essays offer reflections on the value of SoTL in relation to educational ethics, marginalized groups, community service and activism, counter narratives, and a range of classroom practices. Although the contributors work in a variety of disciplines and employ different theoretical frameworks, they are united by the conviction that education should improve our lives by promoting equity and social justice.


Delores D. Liston and Regina Rahimi

The scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) represents a movement in higher education to revolutionize scholarship in relationship to teaching.

Many scholars enter academia because they want to conduct cutting-edge research in their fields. So they become experts in their particular fields, and then, once they’ve obtained the coveted terminal degree and landed a tenure-track position at a college or university, they discover that in addition to researching and writing about their area of expertise, they must teach undergraduate or graduate students or both. For these faculty members, research is primary and teaching is secondary. Teaching is often viewed as a hindrance to their real work as scholars, which involves presenting and publishing their research findings.

For others, obtaining the terminal degree is a means to the ends of entering a teaching profession at the collegiate level. Members of this group might have started as K-12 teachers, but their goal is to teach in higher education (generally for less pay than they earned in public schools, but that is a story for another day). For these faculty members, teaching is primary and research is secondary. Researching becomes a task they must do in order to remain in their teaching post at the college or university.

At this point, I’m sure there are some readers wondering about the “third leg” of the academic stool: service. For most college and university faculty, the service component (service to the profession and service to the institution) remains tertiary. Although I’m sure there are some who enter the realm of college teaching in order to serve on various institutional, departmental, and even professional committees, this cadre is fewer in number. Further, this cadre also moves quickly into administrative positions within the university, places where teaching and scholarship become . . .

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