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Office of Medical Education ~ Society of Teaching Scholars ~ Scholarship Domains

The purpose of the scholarship of teaching is the development and improvement of pedagogical practices (Braxton et al, 2002). The traditional benchmark for scholarship has been limited to research & discovery, resulting in publications. In his influential book "Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate" Ernest Boyer (1990) proposed that scholarship be broadened from research & discovery to include three additional domains: integration, application, and teaching. Examples of professional behaviors that have been proposed as scholarly activities (Braxton et al., 2002) include:

The Scholarship of Application:

  • Service on a curriculum committee
  • Self-study conducted for one's department
  • Service on a committee engaged in institutional preparation for accreditation review
  • Study conducted to formulate departmental or institutional policy
Unpublished Scholarly Outcomes
  • Development of an innovative technology
  • Development of a new process for dealing with a problem of practice
  • Study conducted to help solve a community problem
  • An article that outlines a new research problem identified through the application of the knowledge & skill of one's academic discipline to a practical problem
  • An article that applies new disciplinary knowledge to a practical problem
  • An article that proposes an approach to the bridging of theory & practice

The Scholarship of Discovery

Unpublished Scholarly Outcomes
  • A paper presented that describes a new theory or research findings developed by the author
  • Book chapter or refereed journal article reporting findings of research designed to gain new knowledge

The Scholarship of Integration

Unpublished Scholarly Outcomes
  • A talk on a current discipline related topic at a local, regional or national meeting
  • A review of the literature on a disciplinary or interdisciplinary topic
  • An article or book chapter on the application of a theory borrowed from an academic discipline outside one's own

The Scholarship of Teaching

Scholarly activities
  • Student research projects
  • Preparation of a syllabus for a new course
  • Development of exam questions that require higher-order thinking skills
  • Development of a new set of lectures or learning activities
  • Development of a new course
Unpublished Scholarly Outcomes
  • Presentation of new instructional techniques to colleagues
  • Construction of a novel examination or testing practice
  • Experimentation with new teaching methods
  • Trying a new instructional practice & refining it until it is successful
  • Creation of a strategy to help students think critically about course concepts
  • Publication on the use of a new instructional technique
  • Publication on examples, materials, or assignments that help students learn difficult concepts

A "How to" Guide for Developing a Scholarship of Teaching Project

  • O'Loughlin VD: A "how to" guide for developing a publishable scholarship of teaching project. Adv Physiol Educ 30:83-88, 2006.


  1. Boyer EL. "Scholarship Reconsidered. Priorities of the Professoriate". Carnegie Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching. San Francisco, CA. 1990 (ISBN 0-7879-4069-0)
  2. Braxton JM, Luckey W, Helland P. "Institutionalizing a Broader View of Scholarship Through Boyer's Four Domains". ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report. Wiley Periodicals. 2002 (ISBN 0-7879-5841-7)