Scholarship in Teaching: An Imperative for the 21st Century

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At some medical schools broader definitions of scholarship have emerged along with corresponding changes in their academic reward systems. Such situations are not common, however. The definition of scholarship generally applied by medical schools is unnecessarily narrow and excludes areas of legitimate academic activity and productivity that are vital to the fulfillment of the school's educational mission. The authors maintain that creative teaching with effectiveness that is rigorously substantiated, educational leadership with results that are demonstrable and broadly felt, and educational methods that advance learners' knowledge are consistent with the traditional definition of scholarship. Faculty whose educational activities fulfill the criteria above are scholars and must be recognized by promotion.The authors specifically address scholarship in education, focusing on teaching and other learning-related activities rather than on educational research, which may be assessed and rewarded using the same forms of evidence as basic science or clinical research. They build on Boyer's work, which provides a vocabulary for discussing the assumptions and values that underlie the roles of faculty as academicians. Next, they apply Glassick et al.'s criteria for judging scholarly work to faculty members' educational activities to establish a basis for recognition and reward consistent with those given for other forms of scholarship. Finally, the authors outline the organizational infrastructure needed to support scholars in education.

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