Monday, September 10, 2007

Tyler Cowen on Economics Education

"Teaching economics. Give students open-ended problems, no answer, want students to struggle, argue with their classmates, write them up on their own. But many don't, and are comforted when they just hear the answer in class. Hard to get students—and ourselves—to do the hard work necessary to learn. Generally, teaching that way is not popular. Painful to have to defend your own propositions in the face of being challenged. We don't understand very well how education works. Can you replace teachers with DVDs of the great lecturers? Probably wouldn't work, but why not? What makes education effective? Reading a blog may be as good a way to learn economics as reading a book. Hearing people chat, tell stories. Talking about each other's ideas is intrinsically valuable, valuable to be part of a small discoursing community. Emulates the dinner table. Anecdote: Alfred Marshall was teaching a class, and Pigou was only student. Pigou sits down, Marshall just reads his lecture notes."

A long interview with him is at:

1 comment:

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