Teaching for Understanding as a Vehicle for SoTL.
This paper claims that the Teaching for Understanding (TfU) framework, developed by the Project Zero Team at the Graduate School of Education in Harvard in the late 1990¿s, is one way to move towards a scholarship of teaching and learning. Though SoTL provides us with criteria and standards for scholarship, it is up to the individual scholar to acquire the pedagogical knowledge and focus necessary to pursue such scholarship. However, this is a tall order for most lecturers, who come to teaching and learning as disciplinarians in other fields, but who have no formal qualification, nor conceptual background, in teaching and learning as a disciplinary field. The TfU framework can bridge this gap and provide lecturers who wish to research their teaching with a pedagogical framework to enhance their planning and implementation of the curriculum and with a language whereby they can name and reflect on practice. This paper will explore the key elements of TfU, in particular its focus on a performance view of understanding as a way of prioritising active, student- centred learning. It will also explore the idea that TfU and SoTL share the same base- line, since both are disciplinary frameworks. Through examining some key insights from the course portfolio work of a group of lecturers taking the Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, in University College Cork, this paper claims that TfU provides a useful roadmap of how teachers in higher education might make the scholarship of teaching and learning a reality in their classrooms and council rooms.