The Heart of Teaching Economics

The Heart of Teaching Economics

Lessons from Leading Minds

Simon W. Bowmaker

This unique monograph comprises a collection of interviews conducted face-to-face with leading economists at universities throughout the United States. Presented with the singular opportunity to reflect on and share their wisdom and experience, the 21 interviewees discuss how they interpret, understand and practice their role as teachers. In addition to providing lessons that will inform the way others teach, the interviews shatter the illusion that teaching and research are strictly independent and competing activities.

Introduction

Simon W. Bowmaker

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of education, teaching economics, education, economics of education, teaching and learning

Extract

Simon W. Bowmaker This volume brings together 21 interviews conducted face-to-face with leading economists at universities in the United States over the period March to July 2009. It has four underlying motivations: first, to present economists with a unique and rare opportunity to talk about teaching; second, to discover how they interpret, understand and practice their role as teachers; third, to learn lessons that can inform other people’s teaching; and fourth, to shatter the illusion that teaching and research are strictly independent and competing activities. As such, the volume is aimed at fellow academics, but it should also be of interest to students. The book is divided into three main parts: Fundamentals, Tools and Applications. Each of these parts contains several teaching areas within economics, ranging from the traditional fields such as the principles of economics and industrial organization to more contemporary ones such as race and gender and behavioral economics. Whilst the teaching under discussion in each interview is predominantly at the undergraduate level, which is appropriate since that forms the bulk of most teaching at universities, instruction at the master’s level and PhD level is also represented. The interviewees are economists who have all made significant scholarly contributions in their respective fields. However, there is diversity in terms of career paths. Several have enjoyed an almost meteoric rise to superstar status within the profession; some are best-known for their textbook writing; a few have been very successful in popularizing research; and a couple have been active participants in...