February 1, 2011, by Teaching at Nottingham

Developing curiosity

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Saul Becker: “When our students come here we are giving them the best knowledge that is available at that time and we’re also teaching them how to make judgements about the quality of that knowledge, so we are hopefully teaching them that some things are pretty certain and some things are less certain and some things will change.”

Will Bowden: “To my mind you teach best when you’re talking about what is particularly interesting you at that particular moment and you bring those questions into your teaching. So I would use material that I’m working on at the moment, the most recent results of my research projects, and I would also use that material to show students how I was changing my mind, how my own opinions and thoughts were changing.
I want students to be able to both know about the detail but also to be able to use the material that they are looking at to create their — form their own opinions.”

Angus Davison: “It’s really about learning to find the right literature, finding which are the important ones to cite, finding which ones are completely irrelevant or not reliable.

“I wouldn’t expect them necessarily to be an expert on conservation genetics if I directly asked them a question, but I’d expect them to be an expert by I ask them a question, go away and research it, and come up with the right answer or your opinion on the correct answer. That’s what I’d like them to do.”

Amir Ghaemmaghami: “So they have to get used to be able to look at the evidence, to be able to analyse it, put it together and make conclusions, discuss the evidence.”

Louise Mullany: “what they are doing really is replicating what I do for my research and what thousands of other soci-linguists do for their own research. They are coming up with a research question that they are interested in, they then need to decide how they’re going to go about collecting that data, how they then come up with different ethics of methods and how they then implement that.”

Fran Ebling: “One of the biggest attractions for students coming to Nottingham, certainly to do neuroscience in Nottingham, that their third year project – they’ll be associated with a member of academic staff and they’ll be working in the same laboratories that the postgraduate students use, that the postdoctoral fellows use. So they ,in effect, become part of the research team.


Saul Becker
School of Sociology & Social Policy
William Bowden
School of Humanities
Angus Davison
School of Biology
Fran Ebling
School of Biomedical Sciences
Amir Ghaemmaghami
School of Molecular Medical Sciences
Prof Louise Mullany
School of English Studies

Produced February 2011.

This video was originally published as part of PESL’s Teaching at Nottingham collection.

Posted in Research-informed teachingStudents' academic development