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I Appreciate You: A Spectral Reading of SoTL during COVID-19

By Laura Facciolo

This work is borne out of loss. When I started writing, I actually imagined it as a eulogy, of sorts. But perhaps I didn’t understand all that a eulogy can offer: not just a farewell to the past, but a celebration of goodness, a spirit of hopefulness, and the articulation of a legacy. 

I want to be clear about my framing of “legacy” here, or what I refer to in this article as an “attitude.” It is not the result of one particular event or moment, but rather, a culmination of enduring efforts and persistent characteristics. As I identify through my analysis of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) produced within the Canadian blogsphere during the COVID-19 pandemic, SoTL is shaping a legacy—a disciplinary and methodological attitude—not just as a response to the pandemic, but in spite of it. That is, what became evident through the reflective literature of SoTL practitioners was an unwavering commitment to positive affectivities, generosity, and care, even in the most challenging of times. 

When I’ve presented this research, I often get the question “what now?” Or, “what are the implications for these findings on future SoTL works?” Or even, “now that we have moved past the peak of the pandemic, will this attitude come to an end?” I’ll tell you why these questions surprise me. 

A legacy doesn’t just end. Nor does it simply pop out of nowhere, prompted by a singular event. So, no, I don’t believe that the legacy—or attitude—that I’ve identified here is confined to the temporal boundaries of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather, I am inspired by what SoTL’s spirit of appreciation and care can offer to our classrooms and modes of inquiry within (and beyond) the field. 

Read the TLI article here.

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