Reply To: The main duty of a college professor is to educate students or to do research.
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College professors often find themselves in a dilemma when they have to weigh their limited time and energy to educating students or doing research. If professors could grasp the focus of their responsibilities, it will be a cure for this dilemma. In my opinion, a college professor should focus his work on doing research.
To begin with, professors should not pour too much attention into educating students. The world is changing all the time. After graduating, students who are bracing for all changes could not refresh their knowledge systems in time to adapt to their work requirements if they have not adequate self-study ability. Thus, university should be a place that inspires students to study by themselves. Not only that, in high school, teachers have easier access to their students due to the small scale of the class. In comparison, college lectures often allow hundreds of students to listen. It is horrible for a professor to focus on various puzzles waiting for his advice after a lecture.
Moreover, doing research facilitates professors’ own development. Generally speaking, a professor’s position depends on whether his class is favored by students and his contributions to academic circles. However, professors who are immersed in research are more likely to achieve academic success. For instance, my uncle is an Architecture professor at Tsinghua University. By the end of 2020, he had come up with a new design concept for hospital that could make efficient adjustments to unexpected plague, such as COVID-19. This result of his research made him an instant celebrity. An increasing number of students and scholars are attracted by his fame to listen to his lecture. Tsinghua University also awarded him an honor.
In a nutshell, in order for students to have the ability of autonomous learning to keep pace with this changeable world, and for professors themselves to get better development, college professors should regard doing research as their main responsibility.