Universal in the Local: Practiscing the Scholarship of Engagement

  • Nancy Rottle

Abstract

The 'Scholarship of Engagement' is a burgeoning genre of scholarship exemplified by community-based pedagogic models used in schools of landscape architecture. This form of scholarship employs engagement with the multi-faceted particulars of local places and people, through which it can inform globally relevant principles and strategies. The paper describes attributes of the Scholarship of Engagement, which supports integrated teaching, research and service in landscape architecture and provides an example of the 'universal in the local'. It suggests that a framework for scholarship assessment developed by the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching is effective in promoting scholarship in the design studio, incorporating the components: clear goals and problem definition; preparation through literature and research; methods including community participation, place analyses, case-study research and analysis, and solution testing through design; assessment of results; effective presentation of the results; and reflective critique by the students, community and faculty. This model frames the structure and description of community design studio work undertaken to help a small Alaskan town confront the impending influx and impacts of large chain stores, a problem communities are increasingly facing. In such an engaged-scholarship approach, the hierarchical values of cosmopolitan versus local are realigned, and faculty and students collaborate with community partners - whether global or local - to solve pressing issues. Can this integrated model of public scholarship be legitimised, supported and extended?
Published
2004-12-01
Section
Short papers presented at the 2004 CELA