Teaching‎ > ‎

Statement of Teaching Philosophy

(Download PDF version)

As a teacher, I strive to foster independent and creative thinking, challenge students to apply concepts they have learned to real world problems, foster collaboration, and encourage respect for alternative points of view. I seek to create an interactive environment where students can freely exchange ideas and actively participate in their own learning, and where students are encouraged to collaborate inside and outside the classroom. 

To achieve my teaching goals, I rely on different teaching techniques which recognize the diversity of students and learning styles. In my classes, I involve students in their own learning and promote active participation. For example, in my undergraduate Monetary Economics class, lectures are interspersed with real world problems that allow students to apply the concepts we discuss (see sample). The students are given some time to formulate their own answers, and then discuss their answers in groups and attempt to reach a consensus on the correct answer. This activity not only promotes lively discussions connecting abstract economic models to problems faced by policy makers, but also allows students to think and assess the strengths and weaknesses of arguments and theories. I also encourage the exchange of ideas and the analysis of alternative points of view by asking students to lead a discussion on peer-reviewed research articles (in Advanced Macroeconomics) or current economic issues (in Monetary Economics).

In my Advanced Macroeconomics class, students learn computational methods in economics by actively working with a peer in class. This activity promotes collaboration and it also helps students master their understanding of the concepts while in the classroom. I also promote the use of writing as a tool to sharpen students’ critical thinking skills. In my Advanced Macroeconomics class, I run an electronic discussion forum in which students are asked to post their thoughts on a question and comment on at least one of their peers' postings  (see sample discussion forum). Thinking and writing go hand in hand; this tool helps students learn to identify alternative positions, and also to effectively communicate their own reasoning. This activity also provides students with an alternative space to express their opinions, particularly those who are reluctant to speak up in class discussions.

I strive to cultivate an enthusiasm for the study of economics and I believe that students will be excited by material that is meaningful to them. In order to know what is relevant to them, I talk to students about their interests and future plans. I always arrive early to class in order to have casual conversations about their academic interests and understand how the class can help them achieve their goals. For example, in my Advanced Macroeconomic class, I meet with each student individually to agree upon an academic article she or he will present in class which aligns with their interests. In my undergraduate Monetary Economics course, I include examples of current economic issues that are in line with their interests.

To assess my teaching goals, I use various types of assignments. In my Advanced Macroeconomics class, I assign students problem sets that extend the concepts and tools learned in class to new and interesting settings. For example, one assignment asks students to use the neoclassical model to explore the impact of government expenditure and investment on the economy (see sample question). Similarly, in my undergraduate Monetary Economics class, I ask students to provide guidance to governments or business leaders using the knowledge acquired in class (see sample question). Mid-term and final evaluations are also designed to assess if students are grasping concepts and if they are able to think independently and creatively. Finally, I encourage students to respectfully share their thoughts during in-class presentations and foster an environment where mutual respect is the norm. I lead by example, listening carefully to each student, praising his or her efforts and providing constructive criticism when necessary.

I recognize that as a teacher I have the responsibility to constantly find ways to improve in order to effectively help students acquire knew knowledge and skills.  As an instructor, I have actively sought feedback from students as well as from colleagues by participating in a peer-evaluation teaching program. In addition, I participated in training courses in pedagogy, and I am currently completing the requirements for the Certificate in College Teaching program. I have also sought the opportunity to learn and reflect about teaching with an experienced faculty at Elon University, a liberal arts college, by participating in the Preparing Future Faculty program. I look forward to continue growing as a teacher and mentor, and the opportunity to work closely with students inside as well as outside the classroom.