Being a teacher helps improve research skills, says report in Science. The University of Virginia's David Feldon and his team used a rubric to compare the quality of research proposals from 95 early-career graduate students in STEM fields at the beginning and end of an academic year. During the year, half the students had teaching and research responsibilities, and half had only research responsibilities. After controlling for pre-existing differences between the groups, the researchers say that those students who taught and did research "demonstrate significantly greater improvement in their abilities to generate testable hypotheses and design valid experiments." The Chronicle of Higher Education notes that these findings are contrary to what many science graduate programs say: Teaching distracts from research. "The findings resonate with people," Feldon tells the Chronicle. "Of the people I've spoken to about this study, half said, 'Of course that's what you found.' The other half said, 'There's no way that can be true. Your data must be wrong.' Everyone's got an opinion on this, but there's been little data."
Those Who Do, Teach
Aug 19, 2011