“The thing to do, when you don't know, is not to bluff and not to freeze, but to learn.” Donella H. Meadows

Monday, January 31, 2011

My approach to teaching

In order to be an effective teacher I must, first and foremost, have a group of motivated students in the classroom. I try to achieve this by making clear to all the importance of the topic I am teaching, by showing how exciting its applications can be and by demonstrating my enthusiasm about it. For example, when teaching financial accounting I encourage my students to visualize not just a collection of arcane principles and rules, but an information system that supports decision making and is a key factor in the efficiency of capital markets.

A key element of motivation is the degree to which the student feels challenged. I believe it is my responsibility to pose challenges that can only be addressed by diligent study and active participation throughout the course. I also believe it is my responsibility to help my students meet these challenges by providing clear explanations, by giving timely feedback on assignments, and by being available to provide support outside of class. Finally, I believe that to be effective I must make learning enjoyable. I strive to illustrate concepts with interesting examples, to share my own professional experiences, and to demonstrate how each lesson can be applied in a real setting. In addition. there should be something special about coming to class that no textbook can replace: live interaction, debate, questions and answers, funny incidents and wonderful moments of discovery.

In sum, I believe in explaining the big picture, in challenging my students and in making learning enjoyable. When preparing a new syllabus and every time I open the door of a classroom to teach, these are the issues I think about.