The following is a synthesis of excerpts from a short article by Lee Shulman that conforms to the 200 word limit allowed by the publisher for free use. Please check out the article here. Lee Shulman is an educational psychologist, professor emeritus at Stanford Graduate School of Education, and past president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Putting an End to Pedagogical Solitude
As a young PhD graduate, I had a vision of becoming a member of the community-interacting with others, in the classroom and elsewhere, as a teacher.
What I didn't understand then was that we experience isolation in the classroom. We close the classroom door and experience pedagogical solitude, whereas in our life as scholars, we are members of active communities: communities of conversation and evaluation, communities in which we gather with others to exchange our findings, our methods, and our excuses.
I now believe that the reason teaching is not more valued in the academy is because the way we treat teaching removes it from the community of scholars. If we wish to see greater recognition and reward attached to teaching, we must change the status of teaching from private to community property. I suggest three strategies that can guide us in this transformation.
(1) We need to reconnect teaching to the disciplines.
(2) If teaching is going to be community property it must be made visible through artifacts that capture its richness and complexity.
(3) If something is community property in the academy, and is thus deemed valuable, this means we deem it something whose value we have an obligation to judge.
Reference: Shulman, L. (1993). Putting an End to Pedagogical Solitude, Change, 25:6:6-7.