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Monday, February 20, 2012

My Teaching Philosophy

I teach macro somewhat different from a textbook one size fits all. 

For example, today's lesson was an introduction to the classical model, but I also discussed heterodox counterpoints from: Minsky, Austrian economics, and modern monetary theory - and in a future class we will discuss the mainstream Keynesian model.  I told the students that I don't have all the answers.  And macroeconomics doesn't either - the answers are not clear and they are debated vigorously.  The only thing I can teach is a diverse set of well-rounded viewpoints not to provide answers, but to provoke the right questions and a better understanding of the various assumptions each school of thought employs.  To me, it's more important that macro students don't come away with an understanding that economics is black and white Classical-Keynesian, but rather an ever-evolving study of complex behaviors.  

It's not a perfect method:  it leaves some of the less attentive students perhaps more confused that they might otherwise be, but to me, teaching them about a small set of textbook models without even acknowledging the growing disagreements in the field in the long-run will be more detrimental to their development.  I refuse to contribute to the robotic output of neo-classical drones.  

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