||Teaching vs. Research:
Myths and Reality
The typical university professor has, in his or her eyes, a research opportunity and a teaching load. That is the current system that the professor is hired into. Little wonder, then, that the balance between teaching and research is tipped heavily in favour of research. It is a self reinforcing system that is difficult to redress in a collegial system. You cannot speak of oceans to well frogs.
- A possible research funding model: The average research in the university is ... well ... average! Not every professor can achieve research greatness, or aspires to, for that matter. Yet out of the crowd, the superstars emerge and it is pre-emptive to pre-determine those superstars. Suppose that a base level of operating funds were supplied to all researchers to keep them in business. The superstars are additionally funded as they emerge. Perhaps, with a base level of assured funding, profs can focus on achieving a more meaningful balance of teaching and research that rejects the publish or perish syndrome (and the hyperbole that it fosters) in favour of the advancement of higher learning on issues that really matter.
Personally, I think society would benefit more from the better usage of existing knowledge that it would the creation of more knowledge. We seem to be information rich and wisdom poor.
- Cindy Robinson, "UpFront: Higher learning ,
An examination of specialized research versus university teaching",
Carleton University Magazine Online (www.magazine.carleton.ca), Fall 2003. Also captured
in pdf format (pdf 94kb).
- Richard M. Felder,
"Schooling versus Education and Other Balancing Acts", Educational Research and Methods Division Plenary Lecture
1999 Annual ASEE Meeting, Charlotte, NC, June 23, 1999. Dr. Felder is Hoechst Celanese Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering,
North Carolina State University. Also captured
in pdf format (pdf 36kb). Dr. Felder's web site is a gold mine of teaching articles. Worth a close look.