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Benefits of Teaching

Posted on November 15, 2007

Teaching provides Eric A. Youngstrom (bio) with opportunities to learn, socialize and give back.


I grew up around teaching. What I really enjoy about it is that it forces me to learn, and when I’m trying to explain something, it really exposes when I don’t understand it. And also, being able to understand it and explain it — one of my dad’s lines was, “You don’t really understand something unless you can explain it in terms that a curious 8-year-old can understand.”

And so keeping looping back and trying to explain things. And it’s also a social activity. I’m looking at a class and I’m waiting to see the eyes widen a little bit or the smile get a little bit bigger because then I know that we’ve connected.

So those are the things — so I sort of grew up with it, find it very rewarding on the social level, but also it makes me a better thinker and it exposes the gaps in the literature.

And so typical lecture, I’ll need to write a note or two to myself about, “Oh yeah, this would be a good follow-up project,” or, “This is a good next step.”

The teaching which I’m doing is a mix. At both Case and at UNC I do undergraduate teaching, and I also teach in the doctoral program. And then I also have been teaching some at the medical schools. I taught multivariate statistics at the business school at Case Western.

But then sort of off the radar, I also do a lot of continuing education seminars: sometimes attached to big meetings, sometimes I’ll be invited out and I’ll do a full-day training on assessment of bipolar disorder. And those, to me, are really important because it’s trying to bring the science to the practitioners in the trenches to the installed base.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2007 International Conference on Bipolar Disorder in Pittsburgh, PA.


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