chapter  5
10 Pages

The Evaluation of Teaching and Research

ByLionel S. Lewis

Research and publication are symbolic of the creation of knowledge; teaching generally only involves the transmission of knowledge. Through publication, researchers establish mastery of a subject. The most commonly used procedure for evaluating instruction trivializes the assessment of teaching and teachers, and makes what goes on in the classroom appear to be of little consequence. A large number of colleges and universities determine teaching quality using machine-scored student surveys. The evaluation of teaching is essentially subjective as its quality is determined by the judgment of students, administrators, or peers. Teaching evaluation can differentiate the most competent from the very worst classroom teachers. For a number of years, the contention that good teaching shapes research, that new knowledge is readily acquired not only through the latter, but also through the former, has been pressed upon the academic community.