ERIC Number: ED333938
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Rethinking What It Means To Be a Scholar.
Rice, R. Eugene
Academia is one of the professions in which socially constructed fictions have tremendous power. Years of graduate study and the power of academic mentors creates an environment which deeply socializes future academics. The image of the academic professional which is currently promulgated emerged during the expansionist (post-World War II) period of higher education. In this conception, the scholar is seen primarily as a researcher pursuing knowledge for its own sake. The teaching role has been given much less emphasis. During this same expansionist period, higher education began to serve a much broader and more diverse clientele with more varied academic needs. For these two transformations to now become compatible, a broader conception of scholarship is urgently needed. Such a conception would have at least four elements. While new knowledge acquired through reasoning and analytical theory-building is valuable, knowledge gained through experience must also be seen as legitimate. Second, specialized knowledge must be reintegrated. That is, scholars must look for new relationships between the parts and the whole. This synthesis can be achieved through an emphasis on interdisciplinarity. Third, scholarship must begin to address the pragmatic needs of the larger world. The pursuit of knowledge to solve societal problems must be valued as scholarship of the first order. Finally, the scholarship of teaching, in which research is conducted on effective and appropriate teaching methods, must be emphasized for all scholars. Teaching that is not grounded in the most recent research is not appropriate for a college or university setting. A 21-item bibliography is included. (PAA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Adapted from "The New American Scholar," a forthcoming Carnegie Report by Ernest Boyer and R. Eugene Rice.