Friday, June 1, 2012

Sharing our Learning: The Important Work of Scholarship in Community

Marc Shelton, EdD, Professor of Education
Director of Administrative Licensure
George Fox University – Newberg, OR

This month closes in on the one-year anniversary of this NCPEA blog, an initiative by the executive board to expand the conversation on the work our members are doing in school leader preparation programs.

As Jim Berry, our executive director, stated in a September 2011 memo, “The intent of Talking Points is to communicate and listen.  It is NCPEA’s version of the hard copy newsletter.  Talking Points is a combination of communication about the organization and a forum for discussing issues.  Keep in mind that what goes into Talking Points can be responded to in the comments section.  NCPEA also has set up Facebook and Twitter accounts to take advantage of these growing social media networks to expand the conversation about educational issues to the general public.”

One can review this inaugural year-at-a-glance by clicking in the blog archive to access the conversations that centered on the following topics:

·         The Practitioner Professoriate: Ways to Connect with Practitioners
·         Leadership Preparation Programs: A Home for Teacher Leaders
·         NCPEA Policy Brief: ESEA Waivers
·         Student Achievement and Educational Leadership Programs
·         Teacher Unions as Part of Democratic Decision Making
·         Increasing Professors’ Voices in Educational Policy
·         Educational Leadership at 2050
·         Mentor Mosaic: NCPEA’s Role in the Development of the Professoriate
·         Blazing Leadership Trails for Equity & Access: A New Direction
·         Interagency, Non-Profit, and Neoliberal Collaboration: A Three-part Perspective

This blog has continued conversations in the time between Augusts – from the past summer’s conference in Portland to our upcoming time together in Kansas City.  It has served to expand the conversations happening consistently through our NCPEA Publications website and journals.  It has provided a forum for executive board members to share our thoughts, ideas, and learning with the growing membership of the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration, as we close in on nearly three-quarters of a century as a formal organization – a community dedicated to the advancement of leadership in education.

I have been reflecting on the work of Ernest Boyer (1990), and colleagues that have carried on the work at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in a national study of roles and rewards for faculty.  Two books published by these learners were shared with the broader community and suggested the need to reconsider and reassess priorities of professors at institutions of higher learning.  The authors presented six criteria for assessing scholarship, with my parenthetical descriptors, as follows:
  1. Clear Goals – Purposeful
  2. Adequate Preparation – Thoughtful 
  3. Appropriate Methods – Meaningful
  4. Significant Results – Fruitful
  5. Effective Presentation – Beautiful
  6. Reflective Critique – Truthful
Glassick, Huber & Maeroff (1997, p. 36)

Sharing one’s learning matters – just as leadership is the ability to act as a leader, then scholarship could de defined as the ability to act as a learner.  In our discipline, it is believed that leadership matters and fruitful leadership can make a difference in the life of an organization and its members.  Likewise, in institutions of higher learning it is important to model that learning happens through our teaching in classrooms, is integrated through our service in life applications, and discovered through our collaborative research that is shared with and evaluated by the broader community, all with evidence in assessing our work to expand the knowledge base of leadership in education that reflect these six measures.

This broader definition of scholarship is one that many are discussing on campuses related to promotion and tenure, which is one meaningful benefit of belonging to NCPEA.  But, perhaps, the discussion is more to focus us on the importance of learning from one another by listening well to others’ voices to develop multiple perspectives on broader topics influencing our work.  This is why I am excited to join the discussion – seeing and hearing others again in Kansas City!


Boyer, E. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation.

English, F.W., Papa, R., Mullen, C.A., & Creighton, T. (2012). Educational leadership at 2050: Conjectures, challenges, and promises. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Glassick, C.E., Huber, M.T., & Maeroff, G.I. (1997). Scholarship assessed: Evaluation of the professoriate. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Kutcher, E.J., Bragger, J.D., Rodriguez-Srednicki, O., & Masco, J.L.  (2010). The role of religiosity in stress, job attitudes, and organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 95, 319–337.

NCPEA Talking Points: New, Views and Opinions on Leadership in Education.