What is Scholarship?

What is scholarship? That question arose at a discussion on Transforming Education . A nice reference was offered that seems worth sharing . Robert diamond wrote the following description of scholarship. It’s short and sweet.

Recognizing Faculty Work, by Robert Diamond and Bronwyn Adam (1993), identifies six characteristics that typify scholarly work:

  • The activity requires a high level of discipline expertise.
    The activity breaks new ground or is innovative.
    The activity can be replicated and elaborated.
    The work and its results can be documented.
    The work and its results can be peer reviewed.
    The activity has significance or impact.
  • This was summarized by Diamond in the The National Academy for Academic Leadership.

    The activity or work requires a high level of discipline-related expertise.
    The activity or work is conducted in a scholarly manner with:
    · Clear goals
    · Adequate preparation
    · Appropriate methodology
    The activity or work and its results are appropriately documented and disseminated. This reporting should include a reflective component that addresses the significance of the work, the process that was followed, and the outcomes of the research, inquiry, or activity.
    The activity or work has significance beyond the individual context. It:
    · Breaks new ground
    · Can be replicated or elaborated.
    The activity or work, both process and product or results, is reviewed and judged to be meritorious and significant by a panel of the candidate’s peers.

    The interesting thing is that while their is general acknowledgement of this description as reasonable and thoughtful to characterize scholarship, the remarkable thing is our metrics and local incentives often fail to clearly reinforce it. This is particularly true when this applied to one of the most important roles of the university, learning.


    About longpd

    I'm a senior scholar at Georgetown University, in CNDLS, a technologist and lapsed evolutionary biologist with an incandescent passion for new modes of seeing and learning.
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