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post #25441 of 37429

Good teaching and good research are not incompatible, but they also involve non-overlapping skill sets. So being good at one does not entail being good at the other (alas).

 

But as with any skill, you have to train and train a lot to be good. Those who are trained in one are not always trained well in the other, hence the disconnect.

 

I think it easier for some disciplines, e.g. the humanities (philosophy for example) and less the sciences or engineering in part because the skill sets overlap less and less as you get more technical (again, generalizations but I think not inaccurate).

 

What really bothers me is using student evaluations as assessments of teaching. There is a difference between being entertained and being taught. And you don't get taught well if you don't (as a student) also step up to the plate...

post #25442 of 37429
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Noodles View Post
 

Three professors in the field of economy at my college had gotten the Noble prizes for their works. However, I saw none of them teaching any classes. What the heck.


In many cases, these types of professors are far more "valuable" to their institution by getting published, editing journals, serving as the Chair/face of institutes or centres...the level of income from student fees/tuition in some institutions pales in comparison to what one professor can bring in on a single grant. It's a rational move to make, though slightly depressing in some ways, as well.

 

To follow on from TweedyProf's point, definitely the case that skill in one area does not inherently transfer over. It's also important to note that passion for one area does not necessarily mean passion for the other. And don't get me started on the design/use of student evaluations.....one of the classic "hey, this could be really powerful if we didn't design and use it so poorly" tools of all time (in my experience....I'm sure other places than those I've worked have used them better).

post #25443 of 37429
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuP View Post

hmm good point. I used to be 6FT but now 5 11


I'm 6 ft GuP but I also have a longer neck. So opt for higher collars. Anyway, will post measurements later...

post #25444 of 37429

I second what Tweedy said wholeheartedly, with one minor modification: in my experience (in the humanities and social sciences), the best scholars and the best teachers (not always the same people, but sometimes so) have an ingrained "feel" for the fine balance between problem, narrative, and exemplification.  That's what I expect in both a good course and a good book.  

post #25445 of 37429
Quote:
Originally Posted by heldentenor View Post
 

in my experience (in the humanities and social sciences), the best scholars and the best teachers (not always the same people, but sometimes so) have an ingrained "feel" for the fine balance between problem, narrative, and exemplification.

 

Can you expand on what you mean by this?

post #25446 of 37429

Sure, but I'll keep it brief.  Though the application and context will differ, a good scholar and a good teacher should both excel at what, to my mind, are the pillars of scholarly inquiry.  The first of these is defining a problem (what are we trying to analyze here?  equally, what are we not doing/can we not do?).  Second comes narrating a coherent answer or set of possible answers (often narration is best done by questioning--though mine are usually "lecture" courses, I spend almost as much time asking questions as I do explaining things). Finally, teachers and scholars alike should demonstrate the scholarly process by which we arrive at our possible answers (how do we know?  what makes our answers valid?).  

 

All of these are marks of competency, but the most impressive scholars and teachers (again, sometimes the same people, often not) possess either an innate or a cultivated sense of how and when to deploy each category to achieve the balance they seek.  Do they not only see but communicate the integration of these pieces in a way that transcends the mere sum total of each?  

 

Hope that clarifies things at least a bit.  I'm aware of the irony in my trying to share my views on excellent teaching and scholarship in prose that's painfully abstract, but it's the best I can offer at the moment!

post #25447 of 37429
Quote:
Originally Posted by heldentenor View Post
  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Sure, but I'll keep it brief.  Though the application and context will differ, a good scholar and a good teacher should both excel at what, to my mind, are the pillars of scholarly inquiry.  The first of these is defining a problem (what are we trying to analyze here?  equally, what are we not doing/can we not do?).  Second comes narrating a coherent answer or set of possible answers (often narration is best done by questioning--though mine are usually "lecture" courses, I spend almost as much time asking questions as I do explaining things). Finally, teachers and scholars alike should demonstrate the scholarly process by which we arrive at our possible answers (how do we know?  what makes our answers valid?).  

 

All of these are marks of competency, but the most impressive scholars and teachers (again, sometimes the same people, often not) possess either an innate or a cultivated sense of how and when to deploy each category to achieve the balance they seek.  Do they not only see but communicate the integration of these pieces in a way that transcends the mere sum total of each?  

 

Hope that clarifies things at least a bit.  I'm aware of the irony in my trying to share my views on excellent teaching and scholarship in prose that's painfully abstract, but it's the best I can offer at the moment!

 

 

There's a joke in there about "online teaching/learning" somewhere, but I'm saving it for our School's committee meeting on it tomorrow.....it's going to kill.

post #25448 of 37429
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhereNext View Post
 


In many cases, these types of professors are far more "valuable" to their institution by getting published, editing journals, serving as the Chair/face of institutes or centres...the level of income from student fees/tuition in some institutions pales in comparison to what one professor can bring in on a single grant. It's a rational move to make, though slightly depressing in some ways, as well.

 

To follow on from TweedyProf's point, definitely the case that skill in one area does not inherently transfer over. It's also important to note that passion for one area does not necessarily mean passion for the other. And don't get me started on the design/use of student evaluations.....one of the classic "hey, this could be really powerful if we didn't design and use it so poorly" tools of all time (in my experience....I'm sure other places than those I've worked have used them better).

It's expensive to run a research university, and grants are an important part of keeping things afloat.

 

What I am seeing in the sciences, unfortunately, is the likely loss of a generation of young scientists who are unable to bring in grants due to government cuts in funding for basic research. In the end, they have to give up. Basic research ought to be a core national value yet in many ways, our national leaders are just inept, both in recognizing this value and in supporting it.

 

On student evals: there's a lot of noise wrt evaluating good teaching, though perhaps some useful information could be extracted, but I doubt SNR is aided by assigning numerical values as answers to various questions. If research universities really valued teaching (as they say they do), they should find other measure to help their faculty improve.

 

I'm also, btw, heartened to see so many academics in the thread. God knows my colleagues could look a bit more professional!

post #25449 of 37429
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhereNext View Post
 

 

There's a joke in there about "online teaching/learning" somewhere, but I'm saving it for our School's committee meeting on it tomorrow.....it's going to kill.


just tell us tomorrow, afterwards.

post #25450 of 37429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claghorn View Post

I love research. I really, really do. But a lot of people I work with/around see quality research and quality teaching as something destined to be exclusive of each other. If you love teaching, you can't possibly love research. And vice versa. Drives me nuts. And this is why, when I have kids, and they are old enough for college, I don't want them going to a school that focuses heavily on research. For graduate school, yes. But not for undergraduate.

Professors are teachers. Some of them are shitty at it. Many of them are shitty at it. But they are teachers. They have students. They teach those students. They are teachers.

One day, when I am nice a tenured and have more grays in my hair than blonde, someone will ask me what I do for a living. I'll tell them I'm a teacher. When they ask where, I'll say XXXX university.



My grandma was a teacher, my father is a teacher (still).

I ..... am in finance. I am sorry.
post #25451 of 37429

Crap, now I've gotta really work on the punchline tonight....

And to your point about "dressing more professional": for about the 1,000th time in my academic career, I had a "stop dressing so nice" comment from a colleague. But on the flip side, I've had a few colleagues start wearing jackets a bit more often and even had one show up with a pocket square for the first time! And the students love it....hey, maybe they'll comment on it in my student evaluations!

post #25452 of 37429
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhereNext View Post
 

Crap, now I've gotta really work on the punchline tonight....

And to your point about "dressing more professional": for about the 1,000th time in my academic career, I had a "stop dressing so nice" comment from a colleague. But on the flip side, I've had a few colleagues start wearing jackets a bit more often and even had one show up with a pocket square for the first time! And the students love it....hey, maybe they'll comment on it in my student evaluations!


They ask you to stop dressing so nice? Damn.

 

I had a colleague (from CS) state that my dressing with a coat and tie was a sign of respect for my students (I see it as an appropriate uniform for teaching university students, so it's respect for my role and a visual reminder to the students that they also have a role to play). Still, the pocket square is really just for me...

post #25453 of 37429
Quote:
Originally Posted by venividivicibj View Post

My grandma was a teacher, my father is a teacher (still).

I ..... am in finance. I am sorry.

Haha, my mom was a Prof, now turned Dean. I'm in banking. The shame of it all.
post #25454 of 37429
Quote:
Originally Posted by TweedyProf View Post


I'm 6 ft GuP but I also have a longer neck. So opt for higher collars. Anyway, will post measurements later...

Hmm I see. What is the usual neck length? I am about 5 11 - I think I have an average neck length and off the rack collars sit well in terms of length
post #25455 of 37429
Wow lots of teachers on here - thumbs up to all of you for furthering knowledge

It's a good gig if u like to dress well
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