Addressing Public Issues. Sharing our Knowledge and Experiences.
Public scholarship refers to knowledge generation and transfer initiatives developed and conducted with and for the public. When engaged in such endeavors, both local and expert knowledge is appreciated and utilized to develop a more nuanced understanding of an issue for public benefit. This paradigm challenges higher education professionals to see their work for the university as embedded parts of external systems in which their skills, knowledge, and resources are insufficient without the skills, knowledge, and resources of local community members. It also requires community professionals and residents to examine their role in their communities, exploring how they can meld their expertise and experience to address public issues.
Public scholarship products reflect a critical, discursive, dialogic perspective that tethers knowledge with action; encourages local results with an eye toward broader application; and requires sharing of both knowledge and process in ways that are publicly accessible in terms of language and distribution.
While initiatives exist that bind together individuals who are dedicated to outreach and/or engagement, there are relatively few opportunities for all types public scholars to collaborate and share knowledge across disciplines, interest areas, and categories of work. We aim to address this concern by developing a consortium of public scholars across institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, private businesses, and the community in the Philadelphia region. We use the term scholar broadly to include
any individual interested in sharing their knowledge of their work in addressing public issues, not only those involved in academia.
If this is you, we hope that you will join us.