We need educating professors, not just “teaching” professors

Posted October 1st, 2013 By OCUFA

Over at the Globe and Mail, University of Waterloo professor James Skidmore has an interesting piece about the difference between a “teaching” professor and an “educating” professor. For Skidmore, teaching revolves around short-term goals and the transmission of information. Educating, on the other hand, involves enriching a student and preparing them to be creators of knowledge. As Skidmore notes,

An educating professor doesn’t teach the subject; she educates the student. This requires understanding the student not as a consumer of subject matter, but as the product of an educational process.

This type of education requires professors who are engaged with their fields, prepared to connect students with the latest discoveries and ideas. This leads to a deeper, more meaningful education that prepares students to be leaders and creators. Again, Skidmore hits the nail on the head when describing the important role of scholarship in this process:

If we want to re-establish the true worth of our universities, we don’t need teaching professors, we need educating professors – scholars who are dedicated to educating a generation able and willing to transform our society for the better.

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