Tuesday, 6 April 2010

QotD, taking-research-seriously edition

Dr. Crazy on research at regional state universities:

[T]he way in which that often plays out at my institution (and I suspect at many other institutions) is that research is this unspeakable thing which is nevertheless “required.” And since it is unspeakable – i.e., that professors even within the same department don’t really talk about it seriously with their colleagues, that we look at research as a thing we get done in spite of the “real” demands of our jobs – research becomes something that we think of as a distraction or as something that doesn’t demand a high level of achievement. Instead, we see the research “requirement” much in the way that students see “requirements” that aren’t meaningful – and we just do the bare minimum to pass. Further, we pass this way of thinking about research on to our students, who see a research paper as something to be “gotten through” as opposed to something that can be personally and intellectually rewarding. We perpetuate a culture of mediocrity.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.
[Permalink] 1. Michelle wrote @ Sat, 10 Apr 2010, 8:57 am CDT:

Hi Chris… I think it was like that at my former institution (or at least within the dept I was in)—so maybe it can even be true for some depts at flagship schools. Luckily it’s not like that where I am now… so maybe I’ve left the regional part behind?

[Permalink] 2. Michael J Pruitt wrote @ Sat, 1 May 2010, 4:47 am CDT:

Chris and Michelle, I, too, see this. I think of it as “actions performed in silence now, are later seen by students as onerous or shameful.”

How, may I ask, do you remember your professors having conducted their research?

Michelle, when you write that “it’s not like that where I am now,” do you mean “research is something that we openly and freely discuss”? Or do you mean “research is no longer a requirement”?

Thank you for your time.

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