Education Scholar

Advanced Teaching Skills
for Health Professions Educators

Registered Users Area

Philosophy

Right or wrong, most faculty learn to teach by observing others and selecting what they consider to be the best practices used by their most respected role models. Just as science and scholarship have informed health professions research and practice, they have also advanced the areas of teaching and learning, especially over the past 15-20 years. Although health professions educators need to become familiar with and actively use this literature; much of it is inaccessible to faculty. Often, significant research contributions are hidden in education and/or discipline-specific journals, and use educational jargon that limits the practical application of the findings. Treading into these waters for most health professions faculty is foreign territory.

The Education Scholar Program for health professions faculty members is based upon the belief that teaching is a respected scholarly activity in the higher education community, and as such, occupies a place of honor with other faculty work and scholarship. By taking the initiative to explore this program, you have already embarked on the path to the scholarship of teaching as a faculty member.

Scholarship and the Teaching Profession

The writing of the late Ernest Boyer of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching inspires our vision for this program. In his book, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990), Boyer details four interrelated types of faculty scholarship:

In this broadened view of faculty work, the thread that runs through the four types of scholarship is the commitment to standards of excellence that can be evaluated. Each requires a systematic approach of appropriate faculty preparation, accurate observation, documentation, and understanding as an intellectual activity.

Following the publication of his seminal work, Boyer’s colleagues proposed a framework for “a set of standards that capture and acknowledge what [faculty] share as scholarly acts” across the four types of scholarship (Glassick, C. E., Huber, M. T., Maeroff, G. I. Scholarship assessed: evaluation of the professoriate, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997, p. 24). They include the following: Six Stages of Scholarship:

  1. Clear Goals. Does the scholar state the basic purposes of his or her work clearly? Does the scholar define objectives that are realistic and achievable? Does the scholar identify important questions in the field?

  2. Adequate Preparation. Does the scholar show an understanding of existing scholarship in the field? Does the scholar bring the necessary skills to his or her work? Does the scholar bring together the resources necessary to move the project forward?

  3. Appropriate Methods. Does the scholar use methods appropriate to the goals? Does the scholar apply effectively the methods selected? Does the scholar modify procedures in response to changing circumstances?

  4. Significant Results. Does the scholar achieve the goals? Does the scholar's work add consequentially to the field? Does the scholar's work open additional areas for further exploration?

  5. Effective Presentation. Does the scholar use a suitable style and effective organization to present his or her work? Does the scholar use appropriate forums for communicating work to its intended audiences? Does the scholar present his or her message with clarity and integrity?

  6. Reflective Critique. Does the scholar critically evaluate his or her own work? Does the scholar bring an appropriate breadth of evidence to his or her critique? Does the scholar use evaluation to improve the quality of future work.

Using the Boyer model of scholarship, we have selected readings and other program activities to help faculty adequately prepare, test, assess, reflect and document changes in their teaching practices. While this program is designed to accommodate independent learners, we encourage participating faculty to work with colleagues to create opportunities for discussion, collaborative peer observation, and feedback. To personalize the program, faculty can explore the many suggestions for additional reading and Web sites provided throughout the program.