Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.
I don’t approach education as purely the dissemination of knowledge (valuable as that may be). Rather, I see my role as preparing students to enter into the perpetual conversation between reflective people that reaches through time and space. It is important to me that students feel welcomed and well-equipped to join, because each of my students has something irreplaceable to contribute.
An education in economics trains students to participate in this conversation from the economic point of view. This means a focus on exchange and the institutions within which exchange takes place. The economic way of thinking specializes in understanding opportunity cost, comparative advantage, the effects of choices, and how the universal laws of supply and demand play out in each situation.
My classroom is a place where students encounter the importance of economic inquiry. While economics certainly does not treat all the meaningful questions of the human experience, it has much to offer by way of a disciplined approach to complex social questions. Practically speaking, I keep lectures engaging by passing on classic economic stories (e.g., “there’s no such thing as free lunch!”) and drawing on the research of my colleagues, myself, and top economists whenever I have the chance. Homework readings are carefully chosen and cohesive to the point that I consistently have students who read ahead on the syllabus because they so enjoy the selections. My courses are undoubtedly a small piece in the entire college experience of my students, but the relationships I hope they form—with past and present thinkers and with their peers—will go with them into the future.