The Impact of the Pandemic and Lasting Lessons for Teaching Economics

Yesterday, I gave a keynote talk at the tenth American Economic Association Conference on Teaching and Research in Economic Education (CTREE). I have been teaching economics for 53 years. I love teaching economics. I love researching economics. And I love doing policy in economics. So it was a pleasure to talk about teaching economics, and the questions from other economic teachers and researchers in the audience were really good. Here are the slides. I talked mainly about teaching introductory economics. My main message is that students and teachers have benefited greatly, and can benefit greatly, from the new technology–including Zoom– but that basic economic ideas still work just fine when applied to the recent pandemic around the world, especially if we learn how to use the new technology well.

Ten years ago, I gave a keynote talk at the first CTREE and here are my slides from ten years ago. Yesterday I built on that earlier lecture. The Conference was then a major new initiative of the AEA to focus on teaching economics at all levels.  The first conference was an outstanding success, as was the one held virtually in the past few days. It is a great idea to have a conference on teaching. I have written economics textbooks, including one with Bob Hall that was first published 35 years ago and one on Principles of Economics with Akila Weerapana that was first published 25 years ago, and is now in the 9th edition with FlatWorld.

But much has changed about teaching over the years, and COVID-19 and the responses have provided more lessons. My talk is in three parts

(1) What we learned about teaching following the Global Financial Crisis?

(2) What we learned about teaching in the current crisis?

(3) What are the lessons about teaching for the future?

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