Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Don’t Divide Teaching and Research

The Chronicle of Higher Education
March 9th, 2015

We excel, in the research university, at preparing our students to do world-class research — everywhere except the classrooms in which they teach. From the beginning we insist that Ph.D. applicants explain their research plans. When they arrive we put them through their paces in methodology classes, carefully taking apart their ideas of what they want to accomplish and introducing them to the hard work of gathering data, performing analyses, testing and retesting hypotheses, and exploring all possible outcomes.
We want students to understand that what they think is true has to be questioned, repeatedly, and that their findings have to be defended. It is an iterative process, and we expect them to be rather poor at it when they begin — improving through honest critique and firm mentorship over time.

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