Scholar-Practitioner

by | August 27, 2008

Boyer (1990) asserts, “Surely, scholarship means engaging in original research. But the work of the scholar also means stepping back from one’s investigation, looking for connections, building bridges between theory and practice, and communicating one’s knowledge effectively to students” (p. 16). In your doctoral program tenure, you have inevitably heard the term “scholar-practitioner” used by faculty, by staff, and by learners alike. At the doctoral level, what distinguishes the doctoral learner from the graduate learner (MS/EdS) is an emphasis on the investigation and connection to scholarship. Yet, these connections are often easily neglected in the learner’s process of doctoral competency development and maturation.

You, as a learner, bring valuable life knowledge and experience to your program, but how are you distinguishing your own research and scholarly inquiry to contribute or challenge the known theoretical perspectives, as well as informing your own practice and understanding?

How are you developing your scholar-practitioner inquiry?

What does it mean to be a competent, Capella Ph.D. learner?

Reference
Boyer, E. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered—priorities of the professoriate. Princeton,
NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Learning.

4 Responses to "Scholar-Practitioner"

  1. Althea Truman says:

    Is there a difference between challenging a known perspective and seeking to convince an audience on your perspective? For instance, I challenged a well known and widely accepted perspective and substantiated the argument with three published postulations. While I was focused on demonstrating critical thinking and originality, one of the readers criticized the manuscript as focusing on convincing the audience on my perspective.

    This criticism led to some confusion because I was striving to achieve that which you clearly emphasize in your third to last paragraph: “You, as a learner, bring valuable life knowledge and experience to your program, but how are you distinguishing your own research and scholarly inquiry to contribute or challenge the known theoretical perspectives, as well as informing your own practice and understanding?”

  2. Jonathan Gehrz says:

    Hi Althea!

    A wonderful question! I suppose the simple responding question is, objectively reading your manuscript, was (emphasis) the “voice” focusing on convincing the audience on your perspective? That is, did the reader’s response come as a result of having failed to put an emphasis on the scholarship? Or was the scholarship presented insufficient to counter the widely accepted perspective?

    Challenging any well known and widely accepted perspective can be tricky, simply by virtue, you are no longer questioning just the theory, but often the field’s adopted belief system. How you challenge it becomes the important emphasis. You cite that you supported your position with three published postulations. Was that sufficient to take down the sacred cow of a widely accepted perspective? You’ll agree, not all theory and research is equal. So challenge apples with apples, pears with pears, oranges with oranges. The key, this leads to further engage in debate and discourse, so don’t necessarily let this die at the feedback stage.

    What you have here, Althea, is a wonderful opportunity to engage in some authentic scholarly discourse, don’t lose that opportunity, rather, engage it, but do so with an equal response. Going back to your original question, is there a difference between challenging a known perspective and seeking to convince an audience on your perspective? Not the answer you’re likely looking for, but how might challenging a known perspective differ from seeking to convince an audience on your own perspective?

    Consider this like a game of academic chess. It’s important not to just make the next move, but to also know exactly how your opponent will respond and counter accordingly. Equally important, is knowing when to engage the game and when to walk away. Sometimes winning the battle loses the war, yes?

    Jon

  3. Marlon Bacon says:

    I am thankful for the site and the information shared. It is encouraging to know Capella has as many tools as it does for its learners.

  4. Steve Lynn says:

    To Jonathan Gehrz…your response resonated with me (esp)

    “It’s important not to just make the next move, but to also know exactly how your opponent will respond and counter accordingly. Equally important, is knowing when to engage the game and when to walk away.”

    Thanks Althea for bringing this question up however given the date of this feedback I should be saying (Dr.) Truman?

    Steve