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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Graduate Student Lab

Can Teaching Improve Graduate Students' Research Skills?


Teaching and conducting research have been called “contested spaces” that compete for faculty and graduate students’ time and effort. However, emergent findings from an NSF-funded study suggest that engagement in certain types of teaching can actually increase the level of one’s research skills. So, how can faculty and graduate students alike harness the power of teaching to improve their capabilities as researchers? How do you unlock the door between teaching and research? In this workshop, Dr. David Feldon from the University of Virginia and Dr. Briana Timmerman from the USC Honors College share exciting findings and provide specific recommendations to help faculty and graduate students leverage their teaching to increase their research productivity. 

About the Facilitators

David Feldon is assistant professor of STEM Education and Educational Psychology at the University of Virginia and a visiting faculty member at the University of South Carolina. His research investigates interactions between expertise, cognition, and instruction in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) disciplines. Results from one of his projects funded by the National Science Foundation will be discussed at this workshop.

Briana Timmerman is Director of the Office of Instructional Practices and Evaluation at the SC Department of Education and an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. At the Office of Instructional Practices and Evaluation, Briana leads a team of thirty skilled professionals in all subject areas for standards development, professional learning to enhance student achievement and value-added evaluation of performance. Her office helps South Carolina to develop teachers who are leaders in student achievement.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.