there's a nice guest post up at cosmic variance by physics graduate student, joel corbo. he points out some problems with the graduate school experience that i completely agree with... the lack of focus on developing good teaching skills.
some researchers take their teaching responsibilities very seriously. at my graduate institution, there were some very good faculty member teachers at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and there were also some positively horrible teachers as well! the focus of my program was definitely on the research and not on the classwork, or on becoming a good teacher. i feel that this is not only a disadvantage for undergrad students entering physics and astronomy programs, but it also restricts the options for post-graduate careers for students who might not want to continue the fight up the academic ladder for many years to come!
a large portion of students believe that giving back to the community by sharing knowledge they've gained is the most beneficial part of gaining such a rigorous education. joel brings up some other good points as well... so enjoy the read!