Rather than offering a summary of how the book’s main argument unfolded I will restrict myself in this concluding chapter to just a few final observations on some of the points that have been raised. In Chapter 2 I developed the first central point of this book, which was that academics who engage in the scholarship of university teaching authentically are motivated by a desire to serve the important interests of students. Linked to this was the second central point of this book, namely the assertion that what is in the important interests of students is precisely their own growth towards greater authenticity. I substantiated this assertion through reference to philosophical literature that is chiefly concerned with identifying our most fundamental human interests (e.g. Habermas, 1971; Heidegger, 1962; Nussbaum, 2000; Nussbaum & Sen, 1993). I concluded that promoting students’ authenticity is a social justice issue. Once we realise this, it follows that it is imperative that we consider carefully what we do in higher education so as to ensure that our practices are fair to all students. It is these considerations that lie behind the observation that promoting the authenticity of students also means to create greater social justice in higher education. Promoting students’ authenticity has implications also for creating greater

social justice through higher education. As I argued in Chapter 1, authenticity has both an internal and external dimension. While authenticity necessarily involves getting in touch with and pursuing one’s own inner motives, something equally important to the human condition would be at risk if one were guided exclusively by that which is internal to oneself. Authenticity involves ‘self-definition in dialogue’ (Taylor, 1991, p. 66). This implies that we strive not only towards our own authenticity but recognise our mutual interdependence and thus support others’ striving towards authenticity. Promoting in students the capabilities of ‘Practical reason; Educational resilience;Knowledge and imagination; Learning dispositions; Social relations and integrity; Respect, dignity and recognition; Emotional integrity, and Bodily integrity’ (Walker, 2006, p. 127), therefore, could support not only the students’ own flourishing but contribute to a reduction of the many problems and inequalities facing our societies as students employ the capabilities they developed for the sake of supporting the authenticity of others (e.g. Nixon, 2011; Walker, 2010). Already a decade ago, Cortese (2003) shared the disturbing

observation that ‘it is the people coming out of the world’s best colleges and universities that are leading us down the current unhealthy, inequitable, and unsustainable path’ (p. 17), urging his readers to recognise that ‘Higher education institutions bear a profound, moral responsibility to increase the awareness, knowledge, skills and values needed to create a just and sustainable future’ (p. 17). The capabilities approach to higher education pedagogies is only one way of promoting the authenticity of students and, by extension, a just and sustainable society. Yet, what is especially appealing about the capabilities approach is that it ‘combines techniques, moral and ethical purposes, takes account of the identities of both students and teachers, and establishes a relation to aims and design of the curriculum’ (Fanghanel & Kreber, 2012). However, other suggestions offered in the higher education literature also resonate with the theme of fostering students’ authenticity. These suggestions include, for example, that higher education teachers should seek to encourage students to engage in ‘enquiry’ (Rowland, 2005, 2006), become involved in active inquiry-based learning and problem-solving in the larger community (Cortese, 2003), develop the understandings, skills, and motivation needed for civic responsibility (Colby et al., 2003), think critically about political issues (Gutman, 1987), develop the Socratic capacity to reason about their beliefs (Nussbaum, 1997), imagine what a situation looks like from the perspective of someone not like them (Arendt, 2003), ‘become thoughtful, attentive, worldly and responsive’ (Nixon, 2012, p. 142), and develop a sense of critical being needed not just for success in studying but also for successful engagement with the world (Barnett, 2007). Fanghanel and Cousin (2011) recently referred to an approach to higher education pedagogy that seeks to promote global citizenship as a ‘worldly pedagogy’, inspired by Arendt’s notion of ‘worldliness’. The perspective on the scholarship of teaching I have articulated and defended

in this book is based on a broad notion of what it means to ‘investigate a problem’ (Bass, 1999). Investigation, or research, is replaced by the richer notion of critically reflective inquiry. I have suggested that it is not the formality by which we engage in the inquiry that is important but the depth of the reflective processes underpinning the inquiry. As I argued in Chapter 5, critically reflective inquiries may at times take on the shape of formal studies, informed by the empirical-analytical, interpretative and critical sciences; however, more often such inquiries will be informal in nature and be enacted in the form of public dialogue across different points of view. As noted, public dialogue occurs any time we get together to talk about teaching and learning and engage in critical scrutiny of the assumptions we make. Such dialogue is encouraged at conferences but it can also happen in many other contexts. Moreover, these other contexts (for example, conversations with colleagues in a mentoring relationships, discussion groups and, occasionally, even department meetings) are often more conducive for considering and challenging the validity claims of rightness and truthfulness, rather than just that of objective truth, which is typically the focus at academic conferences. Chris, Phil and Samir, who were introduced in the preamble to this book, are

all involved in the scholarship of teaching. Chris, together with her colleagues,

was the only one to carry out a formal study that meets the traditional criteria of ‘research’. As part of their critically reflective inquiries the team inevitably had many discussions amongst themselves and with students, and these discussions were then broadened out as they shared their work with others at a conference. As they reported on the success of their curriculum change initiative they addressed both questions of value and questions of utility. Phil engaged in critical conversations with colleagues where personal assumptions and presuppositions were questioned with the help of publically available theory-based/researchbased knowledge (i.e. readings on social justice issues in higher education). As part of his involvement in the discussion group Phil is likely to become aware of the complex ways in which power operates in shaping our assumptions about what we believe to be right and wrong, or legitimate and illegitimate (see Chapter 6). By being involved in a mentoring process Samir and his colleague became engaged in a dialogical process that ultimately will encourage them to understand the views of the other and engage in critical reflection of their own presuppositions. It might also encourage Brenda to speak out for her beliefs in department meetings so as to engage her colleagues in dialogue around teaching and learning. Chris, Phil and Samir all make their views, expectations, justifications, ideas, insights or ‘findings’ public, thereby subjecting their knowledge claims to critical review by their peers, who will assess them against the validity claims of truth, rightness and/or truthfulness. Significantly, Chris, Phil and Samir have all been implicated in a process of critical reflection and critical self-reflection on assumptions, or objective and subjective reframing, which opens the path to transformative learning and thus supports their move towards greater authenticity. The process of reflection (thinking) they have been engaged in is furthered and enriched by going public (‘going visiting’). Moreover, their inquiries are motivated by a desire to serve the important interests of students. I emphasised that serving the important interests of students, or promoting the

students’ authenticity, means that we understand what a situation looks like from the perspective of different students. This entails that we listen to how students think and make sense of their world. The critically reflective inquiries we pursue as part of our engagement in the scholarship of teaching, therefore, are always focused on the particularity of the case. What works or is meaningful for ‘student A’ may or may not work, or be meaningful, for ‘student B’. Squires (1999) once helpfully observed that ‘The need for reflection (on the part of teachers) is a direct consequence of the fact that professional work is contingent; if it were simply algorithmic and rule-governed we would not need to reflect on it at all’ (p. 16). Critically reflective teachers also do not only question their own practices but the larger contexts in which they work, including the policies that influence and partially define that context. Making a similar point, Cranton (2011) recently emphasised that the scholarship of teaching ‘include(s) critical reflection and critical questioning of not only individuals’ practice, but also the context within which teaching takes places, that is, the social and institutional norms and expectations that inform and constrain teaching and learning’ (p. 76). Being reflective

involves ‘being unwilling to accept easy formulas, or ready-made cliche´s’ (Said, 1994, p. 17) and being oriented not just to questions of what works and what one is supposed to do but ‘why one does it and who benefits from it’ (Said, 1994, p. 83). As we engage in critically reflective inquiries on teaching and learning we draw on and further develop the virtues of courage, truthfulness, justice, phronesis and authenticity. Critically reflective inquiries into ‘What works?’, ‘What is to be done?’ and

‘Why do it?’ hold the greatest promise to empower the scholarship of teaching. These questions not only serve to create better teaching and better learning but, so I wish to think, a fairer, more compassionate and sustainable world.