Hi, this is a topic from GRE issue pool and the following is my statement. I am looking forward to any commentaries, suggestions, or revised works. Please feel free when you comment my work. I especially welcome any suggestions from native speakers. Thank you very much!!
50."In order to improve the quality of instruction at the college and university level, all faculty should be required to spend time working outside the academic world in professions relevant to the courses they teach."
Maybe requiring teachers to undertake professional work related to their study field is one of means to improve instruction quality. However, whether it is so effective that we transfer most attention from other traditional ways to this innovative way is still up for discussion. In addition, we cannot ignore the other question "whether the above general method is suitable for ALL faculties from the very different study fields?"
It is widely accepted that the final aim of education is to shape students into ones, who can play reliable roles in the society. For this concern, some people advocate that if we encourage teachers, especially faculty in college, to undertake professional work related to their own study field outside the academic world, it would be very useful for improving education quality. They also claim that faculty will introduce the real experience from their practical work to students; it is this kind of experience that makes what they teach become more impressive, thereby more acceptable. However, we cannot ignore the fact that the effectiveness and efficiency of this innovative method have not been proved completely. What happens if the faculties spend the time for professional work on improving their speech skill, or thinking of how to improve the communication with students, or just reading more professional books to improve their academic achievement? If it cannot be proved that undertaking professional work is more worthy than the above ways--which are obviously more available for faculties--I have to say, it is too hasty to encourage teachers to make great efforts to begin new work setting aside their primary work.
In addition, it is so absolute to require ALL faculties to begin their career off campus. We have to consider the fact that they come from distinct fields, and the likelihood that they successfully find out suitable work outside the academic world. Here is a real example. The research group I joined in focuses on the research of IGF (insulin-like growth factors), one key protein that play important role in growth and development of vertebrates. What we conduct belongs to the research field of fundamental biomedicine, which means our research fruits cannot be used for curing diseases directly. The principal investigator in our laboratory is the authority of this field in the world. His academic achievement and teaching performance are widely praised. However, I believe that requiring him to find out a suitable position outside the academic world is almost impossible. None of hospitals prefer a fundamental biomedicine researcher to undertake clinical work. If so, it must be catastrophic. Likewise, very few biotechnology companies are willing to pay high salary to hire him as technical director. Because what he achieved is in theory level, but these companies just purely focus on improvement technologically. The above example illustrates the point that not all of faculities are necessarily required to undertake off-campus work. The decision largely depends on the characteristic of individual study field and some more actual factors.
On the other hand, for particular faculty groups, owning professional work is so essential that this behavior is naturally conducted without any encouragement or requirement. My painting instructor belongs to such a particular group. She has full-time job in my high school and instructs the students who have extra demands for improving painting skills, like me. Besides, she is also a professional artist. She opens up individual picture show to exhibit her paintings and sales parts of them. Another example like her is the teacher for "Chinese art appreciation" in my college. As a professor in School of arts, she is also a distinguished violinist in Qingdao Orchestra, one of the top orchestras in China. The teaching work and professional work off campus are almost parallel for both of them. The two parts constitute their integrated career. Their students get great benefits from their experiences in professional work. This behavior for the special groups of teachers is popular in many schools and colleges all over the world. The particularity depends on their special teaching field. In other words, the real knowledge they deliver to students must be accompanied with practical experiences as well as purely academic things.
Consequently, when it comes to solve the problem in the statement, the first question we should consider is "whether require faculty to undertake professional work outside the academic world is actually more effective and efficient than other ways to improve instruction quality?" Meanwhile, the specificity of each teaching field should be more emphasized. Not ALL faculties need to begin separated career off campus, the decision largely depends on what they teach.