In our most recent SoTL faculty spotlight, David Pace (Emeritus Professor, Department of History) shares his path to becoming a SoTL scholar. David, a founding member of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (ISSOTL), was recently named as one of the inaugural ISSOTL fellows for his commitment to and leadership in SoTL work.
David began his teaching career at IU in 1971, and shortly after began his journey into scholarly teaching through a series of lunches with colleagues to discuss teaching as an intellectual problem. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that he and others were given the term scholarship of teaching & learning to describe the decades of work they had been engaged in.
“In retrospect it [SoTL] was unlikely to happen here” says David. During the 1998 spring semester David and a group of faculty put together a networking event to broaden SoTL work at IU. They expected 20-30 attendees, but got 150. At the same time, the Carnegie Foundation was setting up the CASTL (Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) program. These local and national movements intersected with the first meeting of the ISSOTL conference at IUB in 2004. As with the networking event, attendees exceeded expectations with over 500 attendees.
David views teaching through a social justice lens. He believes teaching is a political act with a responsibility to create the best learning environment we can for our students. In our discussion, he pointed to the growth in information in virtually every field, making them “much harder than they were 40 years ago.” In part because of this, inequality is reinforced by bad teaching. SoTL addresses this, by helping us to systematically improve teaching.
Community around scholarly teaching is an integral factor in becoming a SoTL scholar. If you are interested in joining a community of SoTL scholars, consider applying for the Introduction to SoTL Faculty Learning Community (FLC) that will run for the 2019-2020 academic year. For more information on the FLC, contact Shannon Sipes.