Getting Foxy: Invoking Different Magesteria in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Regan A.R. Gurung


Higher education has seen an increase in the number of faculty conducting scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). Unfortunately, the momentum of this movement is somewhat thwarted by debates over which methodology should take center stage. The discussion often pitches quantitative experimentation against qualitative approaches and mistakenly represents each method as characterizing the domains of social science and the humanities, respectively. Does one methodology reign supreme? In this article I argue that not only are the humanities and the social sciences misrepresented, but both methodologies have a lot to contribute to SoTL. The social sciences and humanities, in fact, share many methodologies although they are each sometimes characterized as separate magisteria. I enumerate specific reasons why stereotypical social science methodology and that of the humanities are both useful for SoTL. I draw special attention to the time and place for statistical analyses and advocate for a ‘fox-like’ strategy to SoTL, one that involves utilizing mixed-methods research designs, and the collection of both quantitative and qualitative evidence.

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Teaching & Learning Inquiry is the official journal of the
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL)