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Saturday, May 10, 2008


An economist is someone who thinks in a particular way, who sees the world through the lens of economic principles. A teacher is someone who helps others to learn and to think. So a teacher of economics is someone who helps others to think like an economist. This requires both knowing how to think like an economist yourself, and knowing how to help others along this path.

I started this blog to complement a course I’m teaching with the same name. Both the course and the blog are first and foremost about economics because, after all, you can’t teach what you don’t know. At the same time, just because you know something doesn’t mean you can teach it well. There are some things that teachers need to think about that are universal (like grading policies, classroom management, etc.) so teachers always have much to learn from other teachers, regardless of subject. A lot of posts on this blog are about my continual quest to be a better teacher, particularly my attempts to incorporate ‘Web 2.0’ tools into my classes, and will hopefully be of interest to all teachers.

But I have found that I am often most helped by discussions with other teachers of economics because there are some issues that present different challenges in our field and talking to other economists gives me ideas for specific exercises or examples that I can use in my own classes. So there are also many posts on this blog that are more relevant for students and teachers of economics, or anyone with an interest in economics.
I should also admit that I tend to use this blog as an outlet for observations about the field of economics in general, of which I am both a fan and a critic.

Overall, this is me just ‘thinking aloud’ about my own experiences as an economist and as a teacher and my hope is that these musings will spark discussions that will make me (and maybe you) a better teacher and a better economist, or at least be somewhat interesting to those with a desire to learn and/or teach economics. Comments are welcomed and encouraged; you don’t have to agree with me or others who comment (in fact, I particularly appreciate hearing from those with a different viewpoint), but you do have to be polite and respectful of others.

If you've just found this blog, please wander through the archives, or here are some posts to give you a better idea of what's here:
Why I'm Here (more about who I am)
Why doesn't anyone know what economics is?
What does it take to get faculty to redesign their courses?

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