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Kindergarten Teachers Seek $$$?

2006-07-07

Consider a studio where Kathy, a piano teacher, teaches, and Bill, a student of Kathyís, learns. If Kathy is a qualified pianist, she should have mastered required fingering techniques and musical dynamic before she became a piano teacher. She should not need to rely on doing RESEARCH simultaneously along with her teaching in order to teach well.

Of course, if she desires to further improve herself during her teaching, her desire is surely permissible and understandable. She can, however, do so by spending her own personal times. And her research activities had better not interfere with her studio teaching activities. If interference happens, then this interference suggests that she is not a responsible teacher who places her own personal ambition at a priority higher than her teaching obligation. This interference should not be interpreted as if her improvement can, in turn, benefit Bill. The latter is simply an excuse.

Furthermore, not only should she do her research by spending her own personal times, but also nobody should exert any external pressure on her to do so. Doing research is entirely a choice of hers.

Similarly, Billís main purpose of taking lessons from Kathy is to learn basic piano playing techniques and dynamic. If he is already good at those, and desires to DO RESEARCH, he should not need to come to Kathyís studio and take lessons from her.

If Kathy is interested in doing research, and Bill is interested in becoming Kathyís assistant and doing research together for the purpose of improving their skills to higher levels, that is also wonderful. The organization, however, should be better recognized as a Research Institute, no longer a Learning Studio.

It is worth noting that, for both the learning studio and the research institute, the only money $$$ involved is Billís tuition for his piano learning.

If Kathy desires to seek $$$ for her research activities and for hiring Bill as her assistant, then her motive is no longer clear. Is she interested in advancing her piano skills, or is she interested in amassing wealth? In addition, seeking $$$ is usually not an easy task for Kathy or for anybody. Kathy will have to devote much of her time to doing the $$$ seeking, thus greatly reducing her true research time, which was originally intended for improving her skills.

A university is an academy, a school, or a much bigger version of a studio, where students and teachers assemble. Students learn. Teachers teach. Studentsí main function is to come to learn. Teachersí main function is to come to teach. Very simple, quite well defined, and fairly pure.

Learning and teaching, in principle, should not need to get involved with doing research. Professors, when hired as such, should have already possessed enough knowledge and expertise to teach. They should not need to rely on some concurrent research activities to further qualify themselves for the professorial jobs.

The word, student, is defined in any dictionary as a person who learns, or studies in order to learn, not a person who does research. There has existed a tremendous reserve of knowledge for us human beings to learn already. There is no need to spend the college time of 4 years in doing research for new or unknown materials.

If professors and students desire to do research to explore the unknowns, there are national research labs for them to satisfy their desires. If there are not enough such labs, we should establish more, and give them the primary duties of awarding advanced degrees to researchers.

Expecting the universities to do research is like expecting Kathyís studio to do research. The mission is ill defined.

Even if we are willing to tolerate this ill-defined mission, and allow universities to conduct research activities, $$$ should be given to the universities automatically. Professors should not be expected to do the seeking.

If we expect college professors to seek research $$$, what is there to stop kindergarten teachers from doing the same?

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