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In 1990, Ernest Boyer's Scholarship Reconsidered suggested a model for expanding the definition of scholarship in the academy. Loosely, this model characterizes scholarship in four categories:

  • Scholarship of Discovery: The scholarship of discovery is what would traditionally be called research.
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: This scholarly approach fosters the development of educational environments that embrace diverse learning styles, and increasingly, places the focus of education on the learner.
  • Scholarship of Engagement: The scholarship of engagement is the application of scholarship to "real world" issues, but also includes professional service and civic activism.
  • Scholarship of Integration: involves scholars, working alone or in collaboration, using theories, models, perspectives, and/or methods from one field to address research questions in another field.
Following the 1990 publication, the discussion of expanding concepts of scholarship in the academy, and the revision of faculty recognition and reward systems, have now filtered down to an institution-by-institution, and discipline-by-discipline dialogue. (Indeed, as recently as 2007, Western Carolina University adopted Boyer’s definitions for scholarship to replace traditional measures of research. (Read more in Inside Higher Ed:
A group of ATHE leaders crafted a white paper reviewing this reconsideration and applying its principles to scholarship in the discipline of theatre. In their summary, they state, "While ATHE recognizes the mission of each institution of higher learning is unique, ATHE strongly affirms recognition of a wider variety of the activities of our members as valuable scholarship. Indeed the perspectives presented in this document suggest that all aspects of our work may offer potential for scholarship, thus encouraging us to conduct them in a spirit of inquiry and with scholarly rigor."

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