Are Teaching Skills Imperative for Doctoral Candidates?

The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards!!

I often wonder about the employability options that are available to doctoral students and what are the key skill set that is required to be developed in them for a successful career.  There have been varied discussions about teaching as a career option and I have witnessed views with very diverse traits. However, a majority of research scholars are of the opinion that teaching skills are necessary, particularly for developing a successful academic career.

Do you think everyone gets teaching duties and responsibilities during their doctoral course? I don’t think that can be generalised as I myself did not get any opportunity to get involved in teaching during my PhD though I think I would have loved to interact with students on a classroom level. To add to it, it is a very nice way to transfer the knowledge that the scholar picks up during the course. Though, I think a lot of issues are important and play a role when we talk of teaching for research scholars. Teaching does come in the way of their work when there is a lot of time required for teaching and marking in a stipulated time. Often PhD scholars are found complaining that they are not paid enough according to the enormous workload they are given.

The problem is that many scholars realise that skill and knowledge is required to teach and just having a thorough knowledge of the subject is not enough. It is also important to catch the pulse of the learners. There is a dearth of means and ways by which training is given to the scholars to teach. I feel there is a need to impart, in the first place, the right kind of training to the PhD scholars. This would not just be helpful for the scholars but also for the undergraduates who often have to suffer because of the unskilled scholars as their teachers.

 What is your opinion for teaching assignments given to PhD scholars? What do you think are the main challenges? Do you have any advice to give to those doctoral candidates who have just started to teach?

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