Teaching Post Doc

e-larso at uiuc.edu e-larso at uiuc.edu
Fri Jun 21 16:44:16 EST 1996

In <01I60P9T97UA001B4D at vaxa.cis.uwosh.edu>, wise at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU writes:

>However, quality teaching experience is also valuable;  and rarely made
>available during graduate training.

The whole premiss of this article is flawed.  Teaching experience is readily
available, often forced, on students at good schools.  Similarly, most 
programs require that students give several seminars prior to graduation.  
I might agree with arguments that teaching experience should be rather
strongly pushed as a degree requirement, but to posit the creation of
teaching post-docs will only ensure that jobs for graduates in the 
biological sciences face even dimmer prospects.
Departments would love to side-step the hassels and long-term commit-
ment of hiring a faculty member, when, for a fraction of the cost, they 
can hire someone who will work very, very hard, then leave.  These aren't
"research positions," so the hiree's only real potential will be for continued
teaching at the institution.  In the unlikely event the student, after a year 
or two off for teaching, lands a research job, it is more than likely the 
courses he/she will be assigned will not fit with the previous experience.  

As a prelude to a career in teaching, fine, but as a stop-over on the
way to a research career, very, very dangerous.  

Eric Larson
e-larso at uiuc.edu

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