4. Toward a Theory of the Study of Higher Education
Journal: PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY IN HIGHER EDUCATION Volume 3 Issue 1 Year 2021 pp. 67 - 86
From the inception of the field, scholars of higher education have routinely borrowed theory from other disciplines and fields to inform their work. Consequently, scholars have struggled to find a permanent academic home for their craft and continue to debate whether the study of higher education should be organized as a field or a discipline. This theoretical proposal begins the establishment of a guiding theory of the study of higher education by examining the governing ideas which shape how scholars of higher education approach their research. Four propositions are identified which together distinguish the approach of scholars of higher education from those of other traditions. We apply these propositions to one contemporary issue, leadership development, for higher education leaders to demonstrate how research into higher education issues can be enhanced. Additional scholarship and further development of the theory is invited.