Thursday, February 6, 2014

Two tracks to tenure in higher education?

Although this is a blog about Latin American development (and inequalities in other parts of the world), I will pick on some of the discussions on college education from time to time.  This is not only the sectors where I work but one that I feel passionate about improving.

Adam Grant proposes a two track tenure system: one for great researchers who may not want to be in the classroom and one for great teachers.  Based on a key study, he also argues that the correlation between good teaching and good research is low.  I am all in favor of valuing teaching more in higher education, not only because I love it but also because it is an useful way to influence how the world is run in the future.  At the same time, I find this dichotomy a little simplistic at least at the post-graduate level where I have always taught: is it possible to teach MA and Phd students in social science without having done research?  Can you show passion for development or for Latin American countries without doing consistent fieldwork?

Maybe the first step should not be to create two tracks but to evaluate the full body of work of all academics when making tenure or promotion decisions and when evaluating their contribution to the world more generally.

1 comment:

Mary Arrieta said...

Sort of bizarre separating teaching from researching: Why pursuing PhD studies if in any case you could become an excellent teacher with a teaching qualification? However, this may boil down to just "catalysing" textbook knowledge...I think at higher education level both should go in tandem.