CEs: Research or Scholarship…is there a difference?

By Jonathan Sherbino (@sherbino)

Can you articulate the difference between education research and education scholarship?  …Should you care? In an age when traditional research activities (e.g. grants, publications) are a potent currency in our academic institutions, I believe that, in order to provide ongoing support and advancement of CEs and med ed programs, it is essential that the CE community articulate both a definition of education scholarship and its value.

The concept of education scholarship, originally articulated by Boyer (Scholarship Reconsidered), built on Shulman’s work for the Carnegie Foundation.  In a 1997 Academic Medicine article, Glassick offered six criteria to judge academic work as scholarly, including:

  • Clear goals (an important idea)
  • Adequate preparation (work built on existing theories, literature, best practice)
  • Appropriate methods
  • Significant results
  • Effective presentation (wide dissemination of results), and
  • Reflective critique (evaluation of the innovation)

Recently, the Canadian Association for Medical Education’s articulate in a position paper the following (clear) definition: “Education Scholarship is an umbrella term which can encompass both research and innovation in health professions education. Quality in education scholarship is attained through work that is: peer-reviewed, publicly disseminated and provides a platform that others can build on.”

So what do you think?  Does this definition resonate with you?  More to come on Friday.

Image courtesy of Creative Commons