Bringing Scholarship to the Classroom: Strategies for promoting research through teaching

Abstract

An issue all academics grapple with is how to strike the desired balance between research and teaching. This balance is heavily influenced by the type of institution where one seeks employment. At liberal arts colleges, excellence is expected in the classroom and a premium is put on faculty student interaction. The expectation, however, is to be teacher-scholar, not simply teacher. And indeed, the desire of most professors at liberal arts colleges is to remain active in their field. With limited time and large teaching demands, the challenge becomes one of continuously making progress on one’s research agenda. When asked to consider how to connect scholarship and teaching on the “Bringing Scholarship to the Classroom: Japan Studies” panel at the ASIANetwork conference in March 2008, I realized I had developed several strategies to link my research and teaching. What I also realized was that all these strategies were influenced by the fact that I was a junior professor vying for tenure. That is, my motivation for connecting scholarship and teaching was largely instrumental. In addition to being able to speak more passionately about topics we research and therefore engage students more fully, I would argue that finding ways to incorporate one’s research in as many classes as possible is a way to better tackle the dual role of teacher-scholar. Connecting research and teaching can accelerate one’s research agenda simply by preventing the liberal arts professor from being torn in too many different directions.

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Gaunder, A., 2008. Bringing Scholarship to the Classroom: Strategies for promoting research through teaching. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 16(1), pp.64–70. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.231

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Alisa Gaunder (Southwestern University)

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