One of the great things about working on scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) service projects around my university is that my colleagues come to associate me with SoTL and send me notes when they see something they think might be of interest to me. Just today one colleague sent me a notice about the increase in female and minority AP CS test takers and another colleague sent an excerpt from a new book. While exciting, I’ve read a lot from friends about the AP CS news, so I’ll spend a minute talking about the book.
The title of the book is “The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A Guide for Scientists, Engineers, and Mathematicians” by Dewar, Bennett, and Fisher, and the excerpt I was sent was the introduction. In the introduction the authors talk about several notable STEM researchers who didn’t start out doing work in SoTL but eventually drifted into it and made significant contributions to education in their discipline. These include Hans Freudenthal (mathematics), Miles Pickering (chemistry), Richard Felder (engineering), and Carl Wieman (physics). The authors then go on to argue that “doing SoTL can be rewarding for anyone in the professoriate.” I especially like their quote from Schulman that says that SoTL “helps us avoid […] ‘pedagogical amnesia,’ the many things about our teaching we forget from one semester to the next.” (And, yes, I’ll forgive their use of semester here). It’s encouraging to me to hear another voice promoting SoTL for all faculty.