Thursday, 1 October 2015

is teaching not a scholarly activity worthy of tenure?

I don't understand why there is the assumption that a teaching track professor should be non-tenured? I suspect that it is a result of thinking that teaching is not a scholarly activity that requires the same sort of protection that tenure gives researchers. Is discovery scholarship the only thing that counts? The only scholarly activity that requires protection? Is it not equally important to nurture (protect) the scholarship of application? The scholarship of teaching? Or is it assumed that teaching is simply delivery of whatever the institution wishes to be taught? Are scholarly teachers not risking themselves when they determine what is relevant to teach even when those decisions may go against the prevailing views of the university or government of the day?

To flip it around to make the point, what about doing away with tenured faculty researchers and instead hiring short-term or long-term contract researchers? Why the assumption that that cannot work for research but that it can work for teaching?


Chiose S. 2015. Rise of the teaching class. Globe & Mail, Sept 30.