ERIC Identifier: ED469447
Publication Date: 2002-00-00
Author: Braxton, John M. - Luckey, William - Helland, Patricia
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education Washington DC.
Institutionalizing a Broader View of Scholarship through
Boyer's Four Domains. ERIC Digest.
In his influential book Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the
Professoriate, Ernest Boyer (1990) proposed that the definition of scholarship
be broadened beyond the predominant emphasis on the scholarship of discovery to
encompass the scholarships of integration, application, and teaching. Boyer's
formulations have sparked considerable scholarly attention focused primarily on
clarifying the meaning of the domains of scholarship and on criteria and forms
of documentation needed to assess scholarship across the four domains (Glassick,
Huber, and Maeroff, 1997; Shulman and Hutchings, 1998). This spate of literature
and scholarly discussion, coupled with an elapse of over 10 years since the
advancement of Boyer's perspective, strongly indicates a need to take stock of
this literature. Such a stock-taking requires attention to appraisals of Boyer's
arguments by contemporary scholars and various efforts by scholars to clarify
the meaning of the domains of scholarship described by Boyer. The ASHE-ERIC
Report, Institutionalizing a Broader View of Scholarship Through Boyer's Four
Domains, reviews the major scholarly works on these topics. This ERIC Digest
briefly discusses the highlights of that ASHE-ERIC Report.
Because Boyer's formulations portray how scholarship should be performed
rather than how it is performed, an important question emerges: To what extent
do college and university faculty members engage in the work of each of the four
domains of scholarship? Despite the significance of Boyer's arguments, little or
no empirical research has addressed this essential question. Response to this
fundamental question would enable us to gauge the extent to which the four
domains of scholarship have become institutionalized into the academic work of
college and university faculty members.
The guiding definition of institutionalization used in the ASHE-ERIC Report
is: "the process whereby specific cultural elements or cultural objects are
adopted by actors in a social system" (Clark, 1971, p.75). Institutionalization
also occurs on three levels: structural, procedural, and incorporation, with
incorporation being the highest level (Curry, 1991). We contend that the
achievement of all three levels is necessary to sustain the institutionalization
of Boyer's four domains of scholarship. Accordingly, we appraise the attainment
of these three levels of institutionalization of Boyer's perspective by using
data collected from a national sample of 1,424 faculty members in five types of
colleges and universities and four academic disciplines.
We further our understanding of the limitations and possibilities of
institutionalization by asking: What factors impede or facilitate
institutionalization of the four domains of scholarship into the scholarly work
of college and university faculty members? In addressing this second overarching
question, we discuss factors that facilitate or impede the institutionalization
of Boyer's formulations. The factors discussed are: state-level instruments of
economic development, university-industry research collaboration, the processes
used to assess faculty scholarship, faculty workload patterns, the academic
reward structure, graduate education, and scholarly role acquisition by
community college faculty members.
We also review various approaches to changing the academic reward structure
and the process of assessing faculty scholarship, because fundamental changes in
these entities are needed to attain the incorporation level of the
institutionalization of Boyer's arguments.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POLICY AND
After reviewing the evidence, we reach five conclusions: (1) all
four domains of scholarship have attained structural level institutionalization;
(2) the scholarships of discovery and teaching have attained procedural level
institutionalization, whereas the scholarships of application and integration
show progress toward the achievement of this level of institutionalization; (3)
the scholarships of discovery and teaching have attained both structural and
procedural level institutionalization; (4) the potential for incorporation-level
institutionalization of the scholarships of application, integration and
teaching exists if changes supportive of Boyer's formulations transpire in
graduate education, and the academic reward system and its accompanying process
of scholarship assessment; and (5) the scholarship of discovery persists as the
most legitimate and preferred objective of faculty scholarly engagement across
the spectrum of institutions of higher education, ranging from liberal arts
colleges to research and doctoral-granting universities.
We also advance a set of eleven recommendations for institutional policy and
practice that are designed to further the institutionalization of Boyer's four
domains of scholarship. In addition to these recommendations, we provide an
Inventory of Scholarship. Although Boyer provided some examples of scholarly
forms reflective of the objectives of some domains of scholarship, a more
concrete specification of forms of scholarship oriented toward each domain is
necessary to measure faculty engagement in each of the four domains of
scholarship. The Inventory of Scholarship provides such concrete specifications
for each of the four domains of scholarship. For each domain, we sort these
scholarly forms into three categories: scholarly activities, unpublished
scholarly outcomes, and publications. The activities displayed under the
category of unpublished scholarly outcomes meet the designation of unpublished,
publicly observable scholarship if the three criteria of scholarship described
by Shulman and Hutchings (1998) are met.
The appeal of Boyer's four domains of
scholarship resides in the possibility of developing a faculty reward structure
that is more congruent with the following: the day-to-day scholarly engagement
of most college and university faculty members, the expectations of the lay
public for faculty work, and the institutional missions of colleges and
universities that do not primarily emphasize scholarship as discovery. The book
provides not only an empirically grounded knowledge and understanding of the
extent of faculty engagement in Boyer's four domains of scholarship, but also a
knowledge and understanding of the factors that facilitate or impede
Selected references appear below. Please see
ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, Vol. 29, No.2, for a complete list of
Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the
Professoriate. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of
Clark, T. N. (1971). "Institutionalization of Innovations in Higher
Education: Four Models." In J.V. Baldridge (ed.) Academic Governance: Research
on Institutional Politics and Decision-Making, pp. 75-96, Berkeley, CA:
Curry, B. K. (1992). Instituting enduring innovations: Achieving continuity
of change in higher education. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 7.
Washington, D.C.: George Washington University.
Glassick, C. E., Huber, M. T., and Maeroff, G. I. (1997). Scholarship
Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Shulman, L. S., and Hutchings, P. (1998). About the scholarship of teaching
and learning. The Pew Scholars National Fellowship Program. Menlo Park, CA: The
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.