Scholarship at the Centre for Health Research, Improvement and Scholarship (CHRIS) is based on the work of Ernest Boyer (1990) and the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) definition of scholarship, published in a position statement in 2013.
Scholarship is defined in the CASN position statement (November 2013) as follows:
Scholarship encompasses a full range of intellectual and creative activities that include the generation, validation, synthesis, and/or application of knowledge to advance science, teaching, and practice. Scholarship domains include inquiry that builds a scientific body of knowledge (Scholarship of Discovery), inquiry that supports the pedagogy of the discipline and a desire to understand how students learn and how teaching influences this process (Allen & Field, 2005) (Scholarship of Teaching), the advancement of knowledge related to expert practice (Scholarship of Application), and the development of new insights as a result of integrative, interdisciplinary, and synthesizing work (Scholarship of Integration) (Boyer, 1990).
Scholarship in all domains involves rigorous and reflective thinking, expert knowledge, and new ways of viewing phenomena of interest. It reflects the standards that guide the evaluation of scholarship, as identified by Glassick and colleagues (1997), which apply across the four domains. These six qualitative standards include:
- Clear goals;
- Adequate preparation;
- Appropriate methods;
- Significant results;
- Effective presentation; and
- Reflective critique.
In the four domains of scholarship, three defining criteria differentiate scholarship from activities that are not scholarship: 1) documentation of the intellectual and creative activities carried out, 2) peer review of the documented work, and 3) public dissemination of this work enabling critique and replication of the activities that led to a work’s finding (Fincher & Work, 2006; Glassick et al., 1997). Peer reviewers are generally individuals of similar academic status to, and at arms-length from, the author(s) of the document, who have recognized expertise in the phenomenon under review. All three criteria must be met for the work to be considered to be scholarship.
The Four Scholarship Pillars
The application pillar of the CHRIS encourages nursing and health sciences faculty to work in collaboration with their colleagues in the practice field to connect nursing and health sciences research and theory, to the practice environment and community. This pillar focuses on the correlation between knowledge and action. Application can be accomplished through cooperative research projects uniting faculty and practice partners, or in the delivery of research findings to practitioners. The scholarship of application allows for timely adaptation of nursing research and is an integral part of evidenced-informed nursing practice.
The discovery pillar of the CHRIS encompasses what most would consider traditional scholarly work, knowledge gained through research. Discovery calls upon scholars to create new and unique nursing and health sciences knowledge, most often accomplished through formal research.
The integration pillar of the CHRIS supports scholars in the examination of new or existing knowledge within nursing and health sciences, or across other disciplines, for the express purpose of creating a new or unique synthesized view. Such syntheses have already greatly served to advance nursing and health sciences knowledge. The diversity of the nursing and health sciences professions combined with an ongoing commitment to provide holistic care requires scholars to integrate the knowledge of a multitude of relevant disciplines. Integration is also key in the work of interprofessional teams and education.
The teaching pillar of the CHRIS provides faculty an opportunity to focus on the continued development of innovation in the classroom and beyond, taking into account both teaching methods and materials. This pillar also includes the study of teaching and learning. The scholarship of teaching requires faculty to commit to life-long learning and ongoing partnership with students to deliver cooperative and engaging learning experiences. Faculty members in the School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences are heavily engaged in the scholarship of teaching and are leaders in the delivery of diverse teaching strategies in their classrooms, simulation labs, and clinical areas.