A Solution for Bad Teaching

The New York Times:

IT’S no secret that tenured professors cause problems in universities. Some choose to rest on their laurels, allowing their productivity to dwindle. Others develop tunnel vision about research, inflicting misery on students who suffer through their classes.

Despite these costs, tenure may be a necessary evil: It offers job security and intellectual freedom in exchange for lower pay than other occupations that require advanced degrees.

Instead of abolishing tenure, what if we restructured it? The heart of the problem is that we’ve combined two separate skill sets into a single job. We ask researchers to teach, and teachers to do research, even though these two capabilities have surprisingly little to do with each other. In a comprehensive analysis of data on more than half a million professors, the education experts John Hattie and Herbert Marsh found that “the relationship between teaching and research is zero.” In all fields and all kinds of colleges, there was little connection between research productivity and teaching ratings by students and peers.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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Control it for work ethics and you will get negative correlation between teaching and research outcomes. People with high work ethics manage both roles. Take the WE out of the equation and you will see the picture of adverse effects of specialization in one field of work on productivity in others. It also depends on the level of teaching: undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate… It is easy to be a good scientist and a good mentor of a PhD student.

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