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Towards a teaching commons for architecture: The scholarship of teaching and learning in architectural education

Holgate, Peter; Sara, Rachel


Peter Holgate

Rachel Sara


Ernest Boyer (1928-1995) distinguished himself as a key figure in American higher education, serving as the United States Commissioner of Education and as President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. His publications and initiatives concerned educational issues spanning from pre-school to postgraduate education. This paper considers two of his chief publications in tandem; Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate (1990) evaluated the relative weightings of research, teaching and service within the academy, and recommended a rebalancing of their relative values. This publication influenced the development of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), a movement which espoused Boyer’s views. Together with Lee Mitgang, Boyer also published Building Community: A New Future for Architecture Education and Practice (1996) which simultaneously praised and challenged the various normative practices of American schools of architecture. This paper seeks to establish cross-over between these works, and to evaluate the potential of SoTL, and the concept of the teaching commons as an approach to scholarship with resonance in architectural education.

These respective publications suggest an approach to scholarship that emphasises the sharing of teaching and learning inquiries in a public domain, and in a way that is open to scrutiny. This paper draws on these ideals to propose a range of ways in which a teaching commons might provide a framework for underpinning, celebrating, critiquing and disseminating the scholarship of architectural education, including proposals to share learning materials and content, establish teaching exchanges, observations and studio swaps, and co-operate to jointly fund exhibitions, overseas lecturers, etc. These proposals are explored to prompt debate around the potential role of the new Association of Architectural Educators.


Holgate, P., & Sara, R. (2014). Towards a teaching commons for architecture: The scholarship of teaching and learning in architectural education. Charrette, 1(1), 146-155

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 2, 2013
Publication Date Jun 1, 2014
Deposit Date Feb 13, 2017
Journal Charrette
Print ISSN 2054-6718
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 1
Pages 146-155
Keywords architecture, education, learning commons
Public URL
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