Monday, June 29, 2009

Teaching Economics to Undergraduates

Many of the people who read and post on this blog teach economics both to graduates and undergraduates either as lecturers or teaching assistants. I want to open up a thread where people feel free to post on ideas and literature for teaching. On the left side-bar I include a list of useful opening links. It would be good if people began to make some suggestions for reading and thinking about teaching in economics, and undergraduate teaching more generally. I think this will be particularly useful for postgraduate students who are starting to do some teaching assistant work or people who are putting together their first lecture series.

Posts on the motivations and determinants of success among undergraduate economics students would also be interesting as would posts on the psychology of learning in an economics context. I think there will be at least some papers on things like the role of numerical ability and class attendance on economics success. But it would also be good to examine things like the role of spatial ability, real-world orientation and others in determining the learning style, preferences and outcomes of economics students. It would also be good to examine the literature on post-graduate outcomes and retrospective assessments of alumni. Martin and myself have already posted a lot of material demonstrating good post-graduate matching for economics PhD students. It would be interesting to examine the extent to which people develop from an economics degree other than through post-grad.

4 comments:

Kevin Denny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin Denny said...

For postgraduates students or those thinking about becoming one: http://www.econphd.net/

The Journal of Economic Education may also be of interest:
http://www.indiana.edu/~econed/

Martin Ryan said...

Also useful is William Thomson's "A Guide for the Young Economist - Writing and Speaking Effectively About Economics". Perhaps this is more relevant to postgrads, but it's worth investigating. It's available on GoogleBooks.ie as a preview; I blogged about it before
here
, with the link to the preview.

Again more related to postgrads, but worth mentioning, is the literature on the non-cognitive skills of Ph.D. attainment, as well as the debate in Science about whether test scores can predict good PhD performace. I blogged about this
here
.

And there is a recent paper from the AER(by Stock, Finegan and Siegfried), about finishing your PhD within the designated time. It was mentioned on the blog
here
.

Finally, and possibly more related to large undergrad classes, Stephen Kinsella discusses the uses of social media in teaching
here
.

Martin Ryan said...

For those who noticed that the link to the literature on the non-cognitive skills of Ph.D. attainment goes to the Stock et al. paper, here's the second link again:


non-cognitive skills of Ph.D. attainment