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Scholarship @Blackpool and the Fylde College. Blackpool: The Context High indices of social deprivation, low skills, low wage economy, high unemployment, transitory employment patterns. Widening Participation is a central feature of our provision

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Scholarship @Blackpool and the Fylde College

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Blackpool: The Context

  • High indices of social deprivation, low skills, low wage economy, high unemployment, transitory employment patterns.
  • Widening Participation is a central feature of our provision
  • Many students who are typical of the non- traditional higher education student with little or no familial experience or background of HE
  • Practices which require different pedagogies to engage, scaffold and support

Blackpool: The Context

  • Blackpool and the Fylde College
  • A long and successful history of vocational higher education provision.
  • 3,000 + vocational higher education students
  • 3 year B(Hons), Foundation Degrees and B(Hons) top-ups and HND/C (Level 4-6)
  • Designated University Centre (Hefce)
  • 4th Largest provider of College based higher education in the UK
  • QAA RCHE Review 2013- 2 Commendations, no recommendations and 11 areas of good practice. Ofsted- Grade 1 Outstanding (2013)
  • Validation relationships with Lancaster University, University of Salford, Liverpool John Moore’s University
  • Application for Foundation Degree Awarding Powers (FDAP)

Scholarship on the agenda

  • Guidance on Foundation Degree Awarding Powers (FDAP)
  • The existence of a “well founded, cohesive and self-critical academic community that can demonstrate firm guardianship of its standards”
  • That staff are competent to teach, facilitate learning and undertake assessment to the level of the qualifications being awarded
  • How we discharge our responsibility for ensuring that staff maintain a close and professional understanding of current developments in scholarship in their subjects and that structured opportunities for them to do so are both readily available and widely taken up.

UK Quality Code- Chapter B3 Learning and Teaching

Indicator 3

Learning and teaching practices are informed by reflection, evaluation of professional practice, and subject-specific and educational scholarship.

Indicator 4

Higher education providers assure themselves that everyone involved in teaching or supporting student learning is appropriately qualified, supported and developed

(QAA, 2013)



The UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF)

Area of Activity 5

A5: Engage in continuing professional development in subjects/disciplines and their pedagogy, incorporating research, scholarship and the evaluation of professional practices


Why Scholarship?

“The non-researcher teacher is too often limited to transmitting knowledge generated by others, but the scholar-teacher moves from a base of original enquiry… University students should be taught by those who discover, relate and apply, as well as transmit, insights about subjects in which the teacher is expert”



Why scholarship?

“Scholarship is not an esoteric appendage; it is at the heart of what the profession is all about. All faculty, throughout their careers, should themselves remain students. As scholars they must continue to learn and be seriously and continuously engaged in the expanding intellectual world. This is essential to the vitality and vigour of the undergraduate college”



Defining Scholarship

  • Scholarship “a muddled concept”(Parry, 2013)
  • SARAD tool(2008/9)HEA research project- identifying and capturing scholarly activity. This tool was designed initially to support staff in applying for fellowship of the HEA. Post project reflections used to shape definition.
  • Workshops with staff to produce definition and initiate discourse and dialogue.

Defining Scholarship

Debate and discussion draws on the work of Boyer, (1990)

4 Dimensions of Scholarship

The scholarship of discovery involves research.

The scholarship of integration is the process of combining or extracting new meaning from extant knowledge.

The scholarship of application is the process of applying knowledge to some problem in theory or practice.

The scholarship of teaching is the process of teaching.


Defining Scholarship

True scholarship is in the production of a scholarly artefact or output . This is what distinguishes scholarship from CPD

Hutchings & Schulman(1999)


Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

  • There is much more to SoTL than merely striving to be a good teacher and keeping up-to-date with one’s discipline. Additional key elements of SoTL include:
  • Keeping up-to-date with developments in the theory and practice of teaching and learning in HE, particularly in one’s own discipline;
  • Critically reflecting on one’s own teaching with a view to developing and promoting high quality learning opportunities;
  • Engaging in pedagogic research (often, although not exclusively, through action research) so as to provide a sound evidence base for bringing about real changes or further developments and innovations in teaching and learning methods;
  • Contributing to the communication and dissemination of good practice in teaching and learning, particularly in one’s discipline;
  • Ensuring the same high standards of intellectual rigour and peer review that are commonplace in subject-specific discipline-based research.

Scholarship defined@blackpool

  • Primary and secondary research
  • Academic Reading
  • External Examining
  • Attendance at scholarly events, exhibitions and conferences.
  • Organising or speaking at a scholarly event, exhibition or conference.
  • Industry consultancy/updating/shadowing/sabbatical.
  • Writing conference papers, poster presentations, refereed articles for published journals, chapters for academic texts or contributions to exhibitions and other professional publications.
  • Curriculum Design- Validation
  • Employer Engagement activities.
  • Field research- good practice visits.
  • Action Research relevant to teaching and learning.
  • Authoring educational resources.

Structured opportunities for scholarship

  • 50 hours for scholarly activity
  • External Study (L7/8)
  • HE Specific Staff Development (UKPSF)
  • HEA Professional Recognition (AFHEA,FHEA,SFHEA,PFHEA)
  • Scholarship and Research Development Scheme (SRDS)
  • Scholarship Symposium
  • Learning and Teaching Conference
  • Scholarly Review
  • Performance/Staff Development Reviews (targets)
  • HE Observations (UKPSF)
  • Scholarnet

Summary - Making Scholarship Happen

  • Define what you mean by scholarship in your context
  • Identify possible range of activities which constitute “Scholarship”
  • Identify what products/outputs you would expect to see as a result of scholarship
  • Identify mechanisms for sharing scholarly outputs


  • Boyer, E. L. (1990).Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
  • Hutchings, P. and Schulman, L.S. (1999) The Scholarship of Teaching: New Elaborations, New Developments. Abingdon: Routledge
  • Parry, G. (2013) Talking about quality College higher education: the unasked questions. Available at: (Accessed on 05.11.13)
  • QAA(2013)UK Quality Code. Available at: (Accessed on 20.11.13)
  • QAA(2013) Guidance on scholarship and the pedagogical effectiveness of staff: Expectations for Foundation Degree-awarding powers and for taught degree-awarding powers. Available at: (Accessed on 20.11.13)
  • UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education (2012) Available at: