piątek, 14 stycznia 2011

Scientists Fault Universities as Favoring Research Over Teaching

Scientists Fault Universities as Favoring Research Over Teaching - By Paul Basken, January 13, 2011, The Chronicle of Higher Education

The United States' educational and research pre-eminence is being undermined, and some of the chief underminers are universities themselves, according to articles this week in Science and Nature magazines.

Universities are aggressively seeking federal dollars to build bigger and fancier laboratory facilities, and are not paying an equal amount of attention to teaching and nurturing the students who would fill them, scientists say in the articles.
"It's a Ponzi scheme," said Kenneth G. Mann, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Vermont, whose concerns were described by Nature. "Eventually you'll have a situation where you're not even producing the feedstock into the system."
A group of researchers, led by two biology professors, Diane K. O'Dowd of the University of California at Irvine and Richard M. Losick of Harvard University, made a similar point in a commentary in Science. Teaching is suffering at universities because the institutions prize research success above all other factors in promotions, they said. The job of educating students offers little reward, and instead "often carries the derogatory label 'teaching load,'" they wrote.