posted February 7, 2007

Talk to Discuss Defining and Assessing Scholarship

A broader way of defining scholarly work in higher education will be explored during an address at Hope College on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.

The presentation will be by Mary Taylor Huber, who is co-author, with Pat Hutchings, of the 2005 book "The Advancement of Learning: Building the Teaching Commons." Her talk will emphasize treating teaching and learning themselves as topics for scholarly attention and how such attention can enhance them, and also how to assess and recognize such scholarly work.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Huber's emphasis is on fostering the critical review of teaching and learning, and to help college and university faculty develop ways of exchanging information about effective practices so that they can inform and build upon the work of their colleagues. Just as faculty members' research in their primary academic disciplines advances knowledge within those disciplines, deliberate attention to teaching and learning, she argues, is essential to improving higher education itself and best preparing students for their personal, professional and civic lives.

Huber is a senior scholar with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She directs the foundation's Integrative Learning Project and also works closely with the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Since joining the foundation in 1985, she has written widely on changing cultures of teaching in higher education. She is co-author of the foundation report "Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate" (1997), co-editor of "Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Exploring Common Ground" (2002) and author of "Balancing Acts: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Academic Careers" (2004).

A cultural anthropologist with a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, she has also written on colonial societies and is co-editor of "Gendered Missions: Women and Men in Missionary Discourse and Practice" (1999) and "Irony in Action: Anthropology, Practice, and the Moral Imagination" (2001).

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center with a primary mission "to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold, and dignify the profession of the teacher and the cause of higher education." The improvement of teaching and learning is central to all of the work of the foundation.

Huber's public address will take place in the middle of a three-day visit to campus during which she will be meeting and working with members of the Hope faculty as part of the college's on-going emphasis on the importance of teaching.

The Maas Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.