Ars Technica today published an interesting report on Nature Publishing Group (NPG)’s launch of Scitable, and the recent NPG study (published as a Nature Education position paper) that suggests that:
[…] emphasis on research at the expense of teaching at the university level may be partially responsible for the scientific underperformance of advanced students worldwide.
This is a very important issue, and the paper raises several valid points. However, in some critical aspects, the basic premises of the paper seem an oversimplification of the issues. A point that has not been effectively discussed is the nature of the factors that hinder the existing teachers from providing an adequate and effective science education to many students, in the United States and elsewhere. Please have a look at the original paper. It is available at the Nature Scitable website, for a free download. If you wish, you can also participate in a discussion in the Scitable forum on this topic.
Time permitting, I shall try to comment on this further.