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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Research in learning & teaching also helps SCD’s standing as a research institution.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Other potential future areas of research
- 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).
- Research in learning & teaching can address either or both of two criteria of academic classification and promotion: scholarship of learning & teaching, and/or research.
- 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.
- 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.