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March 1986

Why Teach?

Author Affiliations

Galveston, Tex

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1986;112(3):267-268. doi:10.1001/archotol.1986.03780030031006

Many modern observers of higher education have remarked on the decline of interest in teaching. Some have even attributed to this serious deficiencies in college and university education. Indeed, in the eyes of many academicians, teaching is, de facto, assigned a tertiary role, since greater rewards in terms of career advancement are gained by more readily documented and acknowledged achievements in the areas of research and administration, or other professional activities outside the institution.

When I was informed that, as a recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award from the Graduate Student Organization, I was to give an address on the complex and controversial topic of the role of teaching in the professional life of a university professor, I was faced with the daunting prospect of considering the issue directly and formally for the first time in my career.

The subject of teaching has fascinated, inspired, and frustrated the most creative