The History

on the Scholarship of Teaching-Learning

A multi-disciplinary, multi-year enterprise

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Andrew Carnegie founded The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1905, "to do all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of teaching." The Foundation is the only advanced study center for teachers in the world and the third oldest foundation in the nation. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is a national and international center for research and policy studies about teaching.

With a focus on the scholarship of teaching, the Foundation seeks to generate discussion and promulgate sustainable, long-term changes in educational research, policy and practice. Foundation programs are designed to foster deep, significant, lasting learning for all students and to improve the ability of education to develop students' understanding, skills and integrity.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Elon

In May of 1999 President Lambert supported the funding of a three-year initiative in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) on the Elon campus.  A total of $72,000 was dedicated to funding 12 projects designed and implemented by faculty and students.  (SOTL projects involve students in all aspects of the project - design, implementation, assessment, and dissemination.) The Carnegie Committee was formed to select and oversee these projects. Students served as co-researchers on each of the twelve projects Elon sponsored. Each of the projects compensated the students in different ways. Twenty-three students participated in Year One; thirteen students participated in Year Two; and sixteen students participated in Year Three (2001-2002) -- thus some fifty-two students. Thirty-seven faculty members (including Carnegie Committee members) representing 14 distinct disciplines can be counted as participants in Elon's work on the SOTL.  Throughout this three year initiative the committee maintained contact with the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) and the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE).  We have been delighted with their interest in and support of our work.  

Project Interweave

In order to interweave the scholarship of teaching and learning more fully into the Elon campus culture “Project Interweave” was proposed.  With the support of the President and Provost the first “Interweave” project was funded in 2002.  Each year through Project Interweave one SOTL proposal is awarded a grant of $10,000 ($5,000 per year for two years).   We are now seeking proposals for projects to be funded for 2005-2007.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Defined

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is more than “scholarly teaching.”  According to Lee Shulman (2000), “Scholarly teaching is teaching that is well grounded in the sources and resources appropriate to the field.  It reflects a thoughtful selection and integration of ideas and examples, and well-designed strategies of course design, development, transmission, interaction and assessment”  The scholarship of teaching and learning, however, takes scholarly teaching one step further and involves making our work as teachers “public, peer-reviewed and critiqued, and exchanged with other members of our professional communities” (p. 50).   Illinois State University defines SOTL as "systematic reflection on teaching and learning made public."

More Information on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

“Navigating the Web of Discourse on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: An Annotated Bibliography:”

Shulman, L. (2000). “From Minsk to Pinsk: Why a scholarship of teaching and learning?” Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL), 1, (1), 48-53. (Available online at

Awards and Recognition
*Elon and Western Washington University were jointly awarded the first Going Public award (Spring 2000) for including students in the SOTL. (See AAHE Bulletin, Vol. 53, No.3, November 2000, pp. pp. 13-14.)

*Dr. Sullivan was asked by Dr. Gerry Berberet, Director of the Associated New American Colleges (ANAC) to present Elon's work on the SOTL to the ANAC Woodrow Wilson Summer Institute at Ithaca College in June 2000.

*Elon sent a faculty-student team to the AAHE Summer Academy July 2000 in Utah.

Support from Dr. Leo M. Lambert, President of Elon University
First and foremost, Dr. Leo M. Lambert, who became Elon's eighth president in January of 1999, has been a champion of the SOTL. Dr. Lambert had served on the Board of the AAHE and was well acquainted with this project. In the interim between the time Dr. Lambert was hired (Oct. 1998) and the time he took office (Jan. 1999), he called to ask if Elon was involved in the Campus Conversation. Happily, the Philosophy Department had already agreed to assume leadership here.

The senior administrators on Elon's campus most publicly committed to the SOTL are:

Dr. Leo Lambert, President
Office of the President
Elon University
Elon, NC 27244
336) 278-7900
e-mail address:


Dr. Gerald Francis, Provost
CB 2200
Elon University
Elon, NC 27244
336) 278-6647
e-mail address:

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