By Lee Shulman

(Adapted by Julian Hermida)


Teaching Academies: organizational structures to support, preserve, and enhance the scholarly work of teaching and learning. Shulman conceives them as a combination of support structures and sanctuaries, i.e., places where faculty whose scholarly interests include teaching and learning can find safety, support, and even colleagueship for doing good work on the pedagogies in their fields. They should foster inquiry and intellectual colleagueship around teaching and learning. Where such structure’s central purposes are technical assistance and faculty development –important as they are- they are not a teaching academy.


Main role: support the scholarship of teaching and learning, which is (i) public rather than private; (ii) susceptible to peer review and criticism; and (iii) something that can be built upon by others.


Model I: The Interdisciplinary Center


This model draws together faculty members whose scholarly interests include teaching and learning, but who may not find a sufficient group of colleagues for this work within their own academic departments. The idea behind this model is to overcome faculty intellectual isolation by creating a new, multidisciplinary community of shared interests and work.


Model II: Graduate Education


This model joins the work of a teaching academy with the mission of graduate school. It prepares graduate students for the full range of academic activities associated with each discipline or professional field, including the scholarship of teaching and learning.


Model III: Technology


This model is connected to rapid developments in the use of technology in higher education.


Model IV: The Distributed Teaching Academy


Instead of creating a new entity, the University builds capacity in various quarters where the work can best be done. These more local efforts, in turn, support initiatives that may grow into sources of strength for the whole institution. The distributed model reflects the reality that some individuals or departments have extraordinary potential for doing the scholarly work of teaching and learning. Instead of institutionalizing support, it takes advantage of generative pockets of interest and potential. The local centers of strength in the scholarship of teaching and learning should be supported institutionally, for the can contribute to building the field and also ultimately seed a broader set of initiatives in the institution.