Written by Jennifer Friberg, Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University
It’s Sunday night and I’m sitting in the airport in Minneapolis on my way home from the annual meeting of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSoTL) in Los Angeles. Using my ridiculously long layover to reflect on my conference experiences, I am happy to report that ISSoTL this year was packed with intriguing ideas, great conversation, and many opportunities to learn. Looking over my notes from the past week, I’m struck by the number of speaker/contributor quotes that I recorded to reflect on in the coming weeks — each of which illustrate the diversity of thoughts and ideas typical of ISSoTL and celebrate SoTL’s big tent quite well. The following is a sampling for your consideration:
We are influenced by narratives of constraint in SoTL. – Karen Manarin (Mount Royal University) during the CUR Pre-Conference Symposium
How do we underestimate power in the students-as-partners movement? — Heather Smith (University of Northern B. C.) during the session titled “Power and voice: A critical analysis of student-as-partners literature”
When things become logical, they become real and then they become second nature. — Tom Klein (Loyola Marymount University) during his plenary titled “Visual logic as a thought structure for framing stories”
Is SoTL about doing better or is it about doing better things? — Tony Ciccone (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) in remarks at the closing plenary titled “Oh the places you’ll go! Imagining the future of and with SoTL”
We speak SoTL as a second language….those of us who know it well need to be translators. — Margy MacMillan (Mount Royal University) in comments to the panel during the closing plenary.
Each of these quotes reflect on important relationships in the scholarship of teaching and learning and focus on key inter- and intra-personal concepts intrinsic to SoTL across a variety of stakeholders: engagement, advocacy, contingency, expression, balance, reflection, mentorship, and integration. While the heart of SoTL is in the classroom — and likely always will be — it was made clear to me last week that the mind of SoTL is focused on interactions and relationships that advance our knowledge of teaching and learning.
I’m thankful to my SoTL colleagues for their contributions last week and look forward (already) to ISSoTL in Calgary in 2017. More to come on ISSoTL 2016 in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!