Engage in Scholarly Activities

Endorsed by Duke AHEAD Steering Committee, November 18, 2015 (Last updated 11/18/15)


It is acknowledged that scholarship is an integral component of the health professions educator role and can come in many forms (Boyer 1990), that teaching practices should be evidence-based (just as clinical practices are), and that teaching itself can be thought of as a scholarly activity.  Scholarship incorporates a spirit of inquiry, self-reflection, and unrelenting inquisitiveness.

Scholars are continually curious, vigorously inquiring, impelled by a sense of wonder, intellectually passionate, contemplative, and creative. They use imagination and intuition, ask questions that are worth asking, seek a deep understanding, challenge the status quo, are tolerant of many points of view, encourage consent and dissent, and engage in honest self-criticism.

A noted sociologist (Mills, 1959, p. 196) once said, “Scholarship is a choice of how to live, as well as a choice of career.” The key characteristics of educational scholars are creativity, perseverance, courage and integrity.

Boyer E.L. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, N.J: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Mills, C.W. (1959). The sociological imagination (Appendix, “On Intellectual Craftsmanship,” pp. 195-226). London: Oxford University Press.

Specific Behaviors that Demonstrate Engagement in Scholarly Activities

  1. Base education practices on evidence and pedagogical research
  2. Pose specific questions about teaching and learning, student development, assessment/ evaluation methods, and other aspects of the educator role, with the goal of enhancing one’s teaching and learner outcomes
  3. Design and implement scholarly activities that build expertise in a selected area related to teaching/learning or that address unanswered questions related to program implementation and evaluation
  4. Disseminate new knowledge about teaching/learning to a broad audience through various means