Integrating Students into Research: A Pedagogical Model

Uploaded by ouwritingcenter on 04.11.2011

The question is... how do you teach research to students?
And it is not at all obvious how you can.
A lot of students don't make the transition
It's relatively easy
and certainly I could see that when I was a graduate student at Harvard
And Harvard of course attracts a lot of really bright, bright students
And they do extremely well in courses.
But it's surprising, even at Harvard,
how many students can't make the transition from taking classes
and acing the classes to being able to do research.
So how do you get people to do research?
Well obviously active learning is involved
And so this illustrates a little bit of the procedure
The first picture shows me writing something on the board
So what happens is that when I started
it wasn't my idea. It was the student's idea.
I started getting a group of bright students
It started around the year 2000, I got a couple students
and they insisted, we need to get together
Instead of just one-on-one, let's have group meetings one or two times a week.
And we started doing that.
And so, beginning it was mostly me talking about
what I was working on
and the students started getting involved in it.
Then eventually after a year or so
the students actually are the ones doing much of the work
they're writing the presentations for the course.
This was actually wonderful because
not only was I doing most my research
in these research meetings, but then students were doing the research.
And because it was often– this is my laboratory–
I'm off in a room which doesn't have a telephone,
and I can turn off my cell phone.
And so nobody knows where I am.
I can be working for three hours, and I dont get phone calls.
It's fantastic!
So I get a lot of work done.
Our group has been extremely productive.
So as I say. I start off doing presentations,
and then as the students get more mature
and they're started projects – they start taking over.
It's been very effective.
My last three, or even four, graduate students
the ones who have finished.
Have each had twenty papers published by the time they graduate.
I mean that's impressive.