Teaching & Learning as Scholarly Practice

The Center for Teaching shares Vanderbilt University's commitment to excellence in teaching and learning. We honor this commitment by promoting teaching and learning as ongoing and collaborative processes of inquiry, experimentation, and reflection. In this way, we underscore that teaching and learning as intellectual invention differ from research only in kind, not in degree and importance.

For this invention to succeed, departments and schools as well as individual instructors must recognize that teaching well takes time. Like excellent research, it requires experimentation in design, rigor in implementation and assessment, and ongoing reflection on and refinement of methods and goals.

As Pat Hutchings puts it in Making Teaching Community Property: A Menu for Peer Collaboration and Peer Review,

teaching is a matter not simply of method and technique (though these are the aspects of teaching that have received the most attention) but of selecting, organizing, and transforming one's field so that it can be engaged and understood at a deep level by students. Like scholarly research, our courses are acts of intellectual invention, and our teaching of those courses enacts the ways we think about and pursue our fields of study. Seen in this way, the work of teaching...rightly belongs to and requires the attention of the community of scholars.

This work can take many shapes and durations, ranging from single conversations to multi-year collaborative projects, and can be tailored to meet specific interests and needs. Because we hold these conversations and conduct collaborations across the University, the Center for Teaching brings together people with shared visions for teaching and learning who might not otherwise recognize the interests they have in common. Through fostering and facilitating these alliances, we support Vanderbilt in practicing, valuing, and rewarding university teaching and learning as vital forms of scholarship.


Center for Teaching
1114 19th Avenue South
Peabody Box #183
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone 615-322-7290
Fax 615-343-8111


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