Thursday, February 19, 2009

Research=Promotion. Teaching= ?

Logos The latest HEA survey shows that teaching is still valued less than research. A lot less. Prepare to be depressed by the quotes from the survey:
  • My major concern relates to senior managers paying lip service to the value of teaching. Management culture says research is all; teaching is for those who can't do anything else.
  • In 2001 I'd been a teaching fellow (at this institution) for four years. The v-c visited the campus that I was working on, and I asked him in a public forum what the university would do to support people like me. He was rather embarrassed by my question and said that I could leave it with him and that he would give me an answer within two weeks. I never heard anything else from him.
  • It (teaching) is almost a necessary evil. This is what I find hard to comprehend. We make money from teaching - that's why we keep taking on more students. But what they (the academic department) really want you to do is get research bids.
  • Few people believe that they can build a career on teaching and learning and (people) think that it's quite dangerous to attempt to do so.
  • From what I've seen, really good teachers tend to get quite average ratings from students - their ratings tend to be polarised. Lazy students who just want to be told what they need to know (to pass exams) give good teachers low ratings because they are expecting them to work, but other students love it because their other classes aren't challenging enough. If everybody kept a reflective portfolio on how they teach, what they do and why, that would give reasonably objective evidence of their practices that could be looked at by somebody else without putting performance on the stage.