Research and learning & teaching at SCD

Research and learning & teaching at Sydney College of Divinity
– 13 points to note

Prof Darren Cronshaw, Head of Research and Professor of Missional Leadership, Australian College of Ministries

  1. Research in a teacher’s subject area helps enhance the quality and cutting-edge nature of their teaching content. This is part of why research is at the core of a university’s identity – not for its own sake in enhancing knowledge, as valuable as that is, but to foster quality learning and teaching of one’s discipline.
  2. Beyond disciplinary research as a basis for learning & teaching, research in learning & teaching has been a growing edge for SCD with our learning & teaching conferences, edited books and a broader growing number of faculty publications.
  3. Scholarship and research in learning & teaching enhances the quality of learning & teaching in SCD’s classrooms as teachers reflect on their teaching and what best helps their students’ learning.
  4. Research in learning & teaching also helps SCD’s standing as a research institution.
  5. Research in learning & teaching offers SCD faculty a secondary area for research alongside their disciplinary interests, and this is an area all SCD faculty can pursue in common with one another (in contrast to our different disciplinary areas).
  6. Research in learning & teaching offers networking and collaboration opportunities within our colleges and across SCD, as well as with other theological education providers and the broader tertiary sector.
  7. Research in learning & teaching can be fostered at multiple levels: informal reading, formal courses including SCD’s New GradDipHE, learning & teaching conferences, professional associations such as Higher Education Research and Development Association of Australasia (HERDSA), and published research.
  8. Research in learning & teaching at SCD, as represented in SCD’s conferences and volumes, has included ‘some ways ahead’ (2013), teaching theology in a technological age (2014), research-led learning & teaching (2017), and character-oriented graduate attributes (2019); and many of the related articles were collaborative papers.
  9. Other potential future areas of research
  10. A growing edge for SCD faculty is to publish research of learning & teaching in top-tier theological journals (not just edited books and not just non-theological educational journals).
  11. Research in learning & teaching can address either or both of two criteria of academic classification and promotion: scholarship of learning & teaching, and/or research.
  12. Research in learning & teaching, at its best, is a useful exercise in PD and self-reflection for SCD’s faculty as teachers and facilitators of learning and helps establish a solid background and understanding of how students actually learn rather than merely teaching from past experiences or hunches, or relying merely on mastery of disciplinary knowledge.
  13. Quality research in learning & teaching shows that SCD faculty are serious about research and about fostering learning, giving confidence to SCD’s stakeholders and accreditation registration processes.


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