Preconceptions, Perceptions and Misconceptions: Embedding Scholarship in the Teaching of Modern Languages at University

Preconceptions, Perceptions and Misconceptions: Embedding Scholarship in the Teaching of Modern Languages at University,
Penelope Johnson & Simon McKinnon, Durham University - Download slides here

HEFCE defines scholarship as ‘the creation, development and maintenance of the intellectual infrastructure of subjects and disciplines’. This is the definition that appears in the Human Resources web pages of Durham University. However, this definition is rather vague and possibly misleading, which might account for the varied ways in which this concept has been perceived by academic staff. The aim of this paper is to explore attitudes to scholarship in UK Universities using the case study of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham.  Our theoretical underpinning is Boyer’s (1990) definition of scholarship and its categorization into four types (discovery, integration, application and teaching). Our data has been obtained by carrying out questionnaires and interviews with academic staff. In our presentation we will first give an overview of the results of this analysis in terms of our main aim.  After this we will discuss the strategies and measures that have been taken in our School in order to enhance our understanding of the concept, including the extent of their success. We will end the presentation by proposing further strategies and future plans.