Tuesday, September 17, 2013

teaching and research: resisting the tyranny of either/or

Over at PEJE IESOUS, Christopher Skinner has linked to a very good reflection piece from Inside Higher Ed on the challenges (and methods) of balancing the aspirations of an active research agenda with the demands of a heavy teaching load. Dr. Hollis Phelps offers some very helpful thoughts (and tips!) for those of us who are carrying a significant teaching load and trying to keep up with and contribute to the larger academic discipline to which we belong.

Speaking for myself, I am currently preparing to shop a book proposal for what I hope will be a fairly significant work on Romans. I only ventured into Pauline and Romans studies because my university assigned me to develop a course on Romans for our graduate students. Among the potential synthetic consequences of the tug-o-war between teaching and research, I would identify the following:

  • my research deepens the content of my in-class lecture and discussion materials;
  • my research strengthens my identification with and passion for my field, which communicates directly to my students as they wrestle to decide whether my field matters to them;
  • my teaching broadens the scope of my reading and knowledge, which directly affects the quality of my research and writing;
  • my teaching forces me to improve my writing and thinking (especially since I encounter so much bad writing and thinking in [Father, forgive me] student papers).
While not all researchers would be good teachers, and not all good teachers would be good researchers, in the Venn diagram of higher education, there is more overlap between the two than not.

No comments:

Post a Comment