Office of the Provost

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)


The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) program at Butler brings faculty together from across the campus in substantive conversation about teaching, pedagogy, and student learning. The program embraces the definition of SoTL that views teaching as an appropriate and rich site of scholarly engagement.

"Though good teaching has been defined and operationalized in many ways (e.g., student satisfaction ratings, peer observation judgments, self-reflective portfolios), good teaching is that which promotes student learning and other desired student outcomes. Good teaching will support department, college, and institutional missions and objectives. Decades of SoTL and other educational research provide us with a great deal of information on the practices that help promote learning (e.g. Astin, 1993; Chickering & Gamson, 1987; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991).

Scholarly teaching involves taking a scholarly approach to teaching just as we would take a scholarly approach to other areas of knowledge and practice. Scholarly teachers view teaching as a profession and the knowledge base on teaching and learning as a second discipline in which to develop expertise. Thus, scholarly teachers do things such as reflect on their teaching, use classroom assessment techniques, discuss teaching issues with colleagues, try new things, and read and apply the literature on teaching and learning in their discipline and, perhaps, more generally. Scholarly teaching is closely linked to reflective practice (e.g. Brookfield, 1995; Schön, 1983). This conception of scholarly teaching is related to what Boyer (1990) labeled the scholarship of teaching.

The scholarship of teaching and learning goes beyond scholarly teaching and involves systematic study of teaching and/or learning and the public sharing and review of such work through presentations, publications or performances. "Study" is broadly defined, given disciplinary differences in epistemology and the need for interdisciplinary SoTL. SoTL, then, shares established criteria of scholarship in general, such as that it is made public, can be reviewed critically by members of the appropriate community, and can be built upon by others to advance the field (Shulman, 2001). SoTL focuses on teaching and learning at the college level, and is primarily classroom and disciplinary based. Ideally, SoTL also involves application and use."

- McKinney, K. (2004). The scholarship of teaching and learning: Past lessons, current challenges, and future visions. In C. Wehlburg & S. Chadwick-Blossey (Eds.), To improve the academy: Vol. 22. Resources for faculty, instructional, and organizational development (pp. 3-19). Bolton, MA: Anker.


For more information about the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Butler University, please contact SoTL Coordinator, LuAnne McNulty (