It’s refreshing to hear that once upon a time, the pendulum swung in the other direction with regard to teaching and research (“Look back in wonder: the invention of academic ‘tradition’”, Opinion, 25 June).
Personally, I feel that a healthy equilibrium is yet to be found. We need research, and we need teaching, but the question has to be asked: can you really be a good researcher without first teaching for a number of years? Is it not teaching that really makes you assimilate theories?
Perhaps we should introduce a new model for the fledgling academic: make them teach for a number of years before they embark on a research career.
This may produce a greater understanding of students’ difficulties in acquiring new knowledge, engage undergraduates more, reduce the stress of having to publish for the sake of publication, lead to more insightful research and ultimately put the student at the heart of the university experience.
Maybe this is idealistic, but even so, why not strive towards it?