Scientific education also requires a scientific approach of our own education. The Centre for Academic Teaching of Utrecht University encourages academics to develop themselves and continuously improve their own education in a scientifically sound way.
Utrecht University encourages educational scholarship to enlarge the knowledge-base on academic teaching. Academics are stimulated to use a research-informed approach for their teaching: disciplinary knowledge, practical knowledge and scientific knowledge are combined to enhance student learning.
When the aim of educational scholarship is primarily to inform the teaching practice in the teacher’s own classroom, we refer to Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). When the aim is to contribute to the theoretical knowledge base of academic teaching within a discipline, we refer to Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER). Both SoTL and DBER are research-informed approaches to teaching. There is no rigorous division between these approaches, rather they form a continuum of decreasing context-specificity.
Academic teachers involved in educational scholarship, will contribute to the knowledge on ‘what works, and why’ concerning teaching within their own discipline. It also advances the knowledge of teaching and learning and improves the quality of teaching at Utrecht University. Furthermore, being involved in educational scholarship stimulates teachers to think more critically about their own teaching and find inspiration for teaching innovations.
The Centre for Academic Teaching supports the cultural change by showcasing good examples and making them available to fellow academics and by bringing them in contact with each other by means of communities and meetings. In a wide range of programmes and funds of the centre, Educational Scholarship is a part of the mission. It also supports scholarship applications at the national Comenius programme. The ambition is to start a Teaching Scholarship Programme in 2019 and an innovation fund for SoTL grants .
Centre for Academic Teaching
Educational scholarship is one of the pillars of the Centre for Academic Teaching of Utrecht University. Besides Educational scholarship, this centre also focuses on educational innovation and teacher development.