...The usual justification for trying to make all professors researchers is the argument that teaching and research are inextricably linked, to an extent that the first cannot be done well in the absence of the second. This argument is a strange one. Its proponents - usually academicians, trained in scientific method and the rules of logical inference - offer it with unbounded conviction, passion, and a total absence of evidence. They argue that only researchers are aware of recent developments in their field, so that courses taught by nonresearchers must be irrelevant or obsolete. They add that nonresearchers whom students rate as good teachers must be merely "entertainers," providing style without substance. When challenged to produce some evidence for the linkage between research and teaching, they name professors they know who have both admirable research records and teaching awards, which is like claiming that you can only be a world-class organist if you practice medicine in Africa and pointing to Albert Schweitzer to prove it.
In this essay I want to take a closer look at the purported linkage between teaching and academic research, to see how it stands up to the tests of common sense and educational research. I will argue that it stands up to neither. ...
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Hat tip: Guru, whose post has another interesting quote from Partha Dasgupta about "why university teachers are expected to be researchers." [Dasgupta's book is not available online, though].