Saturday, October 27, 2012

In the Midst of a Crisis-Re-Discovering the Educator

In the past number of years there has probably not been a more exciting, dynamic, frustrating but important course to teach than the one for introductory macroeconomics.

Here is a recent paper that Alan Blinder published in one of the  journals about the challenges and rewards in teaching the introductory Macroeconomics class.

When many of us think of Alan Blinder, we immediately think about his work over the years as a researcher, commentator and advisor to presidential administrations on macroeconomic policy issues, but it is instructive to remember (perhaps re-discover) the mark he has had and continues to have on economic education.

The introductory text, Economics: Principles and Policy, that he wrote with William Baumol has, over the past 30+ years, been among the top sellers in a very crowded market.

Probably no other work for beginning students explores the role of policy in the economy as thoroughly  and patiently as this text. Not an easy task--as policy continually evolves, the authors laboriously work to update and put these changes in context. No sitting on the proverbial 'laurels' here.

You can hear a  webcast of Alan speaking to Economist Educators at the 8th Annual Economics Teaching Conference on Thursday, November 8th. The webcast is free, but you do need to sign up HERE.
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The photo on the right is Alan and a participant at a Cengage Learning teaching conference a few years ago. We are pleased to have Alan back this year and particularly delighted that he will be able to stay after his talk to have dinner with the conference participants.

We are bumping up against our limit for on-site attendees to our conference, but there are a few spots left for the conference on Nov. 8 and 9 in Orlando. You can get more info HERE

Questions? Just let me know

BTW- Here is a video of Alan talking about the job of the Federal Reserve this week on CNN

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mankiw and Blinder- Free Webcast for You and Your Students

Free Webcast: Greg Mankiw and Alan Blinder

When two of the more high profile economists in the world speak about policy at a conference two days after the general election there is going to be interest! Here is a wonderful opportunity for you and your students to participate in a major policy discussion. The general public is also welcome to join.

Cengage Learning, in partnership with the University of Central Florida College of Business Administration and Department of Economics will be webcasting the keynote talks by Alan Blinder and Greg Mankiw from the 8th Annual Economics Teaching Conference in Orlando. Questions from you and your students will be streamed live.
Alan Blinder

            Alan S. Blinder, Princeton University
     “How did Countercyclical Policy Get Such a Bad Name?”  
            4:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, November 8th

Greg Mankiw
N. Gregory Mankiw, Harvard University
“The Fiscal Challenge Ahead"
1:00 p.m. EST, Friday, November 9th

There is no charge for the Webcasts, but you do have to sign up. You can do that here.

Have you signed up for the Conference yet?
There is still a spot for you, but spaces are filling up fast.
This year we will have 35 academic sessions (vetted and approved by the Gulf Coast Economics Association) and have also increased or attendance limits.  We have already surpassed our attendance registrations from last year. Don't Wait! Sign up Here 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012



    If you are a grad student in economics who is within traveling distance of Orlando, this is for you. If you know a grad student, please make sure that they know about this event especially for them.
    In conjunction with the 8th Annual Economics Teaching Conference, Cengage Learning and the Gulf Coast Economics Association invites economics graduate students to a special session followed by lunch and the keynote talk by Greg Mankiw. There will be a chance afterwards to meet Dr. Mankiw. There is NO CHARGE for graduate students for this special session and luncheon. You can sign up here.
The session begins: 
       11:30 a.m., Friday, November 9th
        Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Orlando.

Top 5 Tips for Teaching, Top 5 Tips for the Job Search
The session will be presented by Dr. Gail Hoyt of the University of Kentucky

Dr. Gail Hoyt is the lead instructor for Economics 201 at the University of Kentucky. She is the coeditor (with KimMarie McGoldrick) of The International Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Economics
Elgar Publishing 2011. 
   She is also a coauthor of "The Professional Development of Graduate Students for Teaching Activities: The Students’ Perspective,"with David Colander and KimMarie McGoldrick, forthcoming in The Journal of Economic Education.
   She has been an instructor for the Teaching Innovations Program. The AEA Committee on Economic Education (CEE) sponsored Teaching Innovations Program (TIP) for college and university economics instructors. TIP seeks to improve undergraduate education in economics by offering instructors an opportunity to expand their teaching skills and participate in the scholarship of teaching

There is no charge for this, but you must register. You also must attend the session to qualify for the luncheon and keynote.

Let me know, John

Friday, October 5, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

And The Winners Are

Congratulations to three outstanding Economist Educators who placed in the first annual Economist Educators Best in Class Teaching Award.
   There were about 30 submissions.
   The public voted on their favorites
   The top 5 vote getteing submissions went before a panel of Economist Educators who voted for first, second and third place. The winners, with links to their videos are:

First Place,           Alan Grant, Baker University
$2,000 prize, $2,000 to his department and a trip to the 8th Annual Economics Teaching Conference to present his submission.
Second Place,      Fadhel Kaboub, Denison University
$1,000 and a trip to the teaching conference to present
Third Place,          Becca Arnold, San Diego Mesa College
$500 and a copy of the International Handbook for Teaching and Learning Economics by KimMarie McGoldrick and Gail Hoyt.

I asked Alan Grant a couple of questions when I spoke to him last week. I found his thoughts on what led him to become an economist educator and how he views his current students to be very inspiring.
We will be talking more with Alan and the other winners and submitters more extensively in the weeks and months to come, so stay tuned!

What made you become an economics instructor? 
I was inspired by another outstanding economist educator, Lloyd Thomas, who was one of my undergraduate professors. His Money and Banking course was a work of brilliance and passion, and an inspiration to me. Dr. Thomas got me excited about the discipline, and made me realize that there is a genuine art to making complex ideas accessible. Later, as a graduate student, I found out for myself both how hard and how rewarding teaching can be. I've been hooked ever since. 
 What is the best thing about being an instructor? 
Without a doubt, the best thing about being an instructor is having co-workers who will always be 18 to 24 years old! They have an energy that I wish I could capture for myself. I love watching young people grow and mature as students, and it's even more fun to watch as they leave college and carve out a place for themselves in society. They're imaginative and brave and daring in ways that I'm not, which makes it both fun and a privilege to share such an important part of their lives with them.

Congratulations again to these three economist educators. Keep those great ideas coming!
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