Vol 39 No 2 (2009)

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and the Neo-Liberalization of Higher Education: Constructing the “Entrepreneurial Learner”

Laura Servage
University of Alberta


This article examines the strong interest in the scholarship of teaching that has developed since Ernest Boyer introduced the idea in 1990. Although there are many benefits to be realized from a greater emphasis on teaching in higher education, the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) “movement” has been subjected to little critical scrutiny. This work, however, proposes that SoTL is inextricably tied to the entrenchment of neo-liberalization in higher education. Marshall’s (1996) notion of “busno-power,” an extension of Foucault’s thinking on governmentality, is used to demonstrate how SoTL may be viewed as a force that shapes both instructors and students into “entrepreneurial learners” who conceptualize education primarily for its use value. The article concludes with a consideration of how this eventuality may be guarded against by using Foucault’s methods to situate SoTL sociologically, and historically.



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