Forbes Op-Ed: ‘How Teaching Through Research Can Help Everyone Win’

Chemistry Lab Hauser

Professor of Chemistry Cindy Hauser with students

Conventional wisdom says faculty members have to choose to focus on either research or teaching. Davidson College President Carol Quillen says there’s another way—one that pays dividends for both teacher and student.

In her Forbes op-ed, “How Teaching Through Research Can Help Everyone Win,” Quillen celebrates the learning borne out of student-teacher partnerships in research or special projects.

When faculty members bring their research into the classroom, both sides win.

“Professors can lean into and share the process of discovery, which is likely what drew them to academia,” Quillen writes. “For students, assignments that invite addressing unanswered questions or producing new art bridge the gap between class and life. The relevance and value of their work becomes clearer. They not only know what they are doing; they also begin to understand why it matters.”

Quillen points to a handful of examples from Davidson that span disciplines: stretching from political science to the chemistry labs in the E. Craig Wall Jr. Academic Center.

“Teaching through research helps students navigate among multiple analytical frameworks,” she writes. “They learn to deal with ambiguity and complexity as they resist the easy, one-dimensional (and almost certainly short-sighted) solution.”

Research at Davidson


  • March 6, 2020