Science Education vs. Science Research

| May 10, 2010

Nature Education, a division of the Nature Publishing Group, recently published a position paper titled, Time to Decide: The Ambivalence of the World of Science Toward Education. (Click here to download)

This white paper is based on a survey of university-level science faculty members who have both teaching and research responsibilities. It lays out how academic scientists regard the quality of science education in their areas and discusses whether education and research is a zero-sum game.

Are scientists correct in thinking that research and education are set against each other today in a battle for limited resources? Of the thought leaders [Nature] interviewed, most felt that they are.

For a quick bite, here goes the list of survey results:

1. Scientists Consider Post-secondary Science Education in Their Countries to Be Mediocre or Worse

2. Secondary Education Is Seen as the Chief Problem, but University Teaching Is Seen as a Potential Solution

3. The Majority of Respondents Consider Themselves Effective Teachers

4. The Heart of the Matter: Respondents Value Education More Than Research, but They Would Appoint a Skilled Researcher over a Skilled Teacher for an Open Tenure Spot

5. Respondents Believe That Student Talent and Work Ethic Are More Important Than Teaching for Driving Student Success

6. Respondents Feel Their Institutions Value Research More Than Education