How Teaching Through Research Can Help Everyone Win

The venerable conventional wisdom at colleges and universities is that professors can conduct transformative research or provide valuable teaching—but not both.

On some campuses, though, the real magic happens when professors bring their work into the classroom, helping undergraduates learn by doing research. Erasing the line between the classroom and the lab or archive or stage—between absorbing and producing knowledge—enhances learning and improves the experience for students and faculty.

Professors can lean into and share the process of discovery, which is likely what drew them to academia. 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.

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