My teaching philosophy can be summarized by the following principles:
- Students won’t care to learn until we learn to care.
Teachers should make an effort to connect with students on a real, human, personal level. In my courses, for instance, I try to know students better (previous experience, background, interests, etc.) and design my lectures exploiting their differencies. I also organize events and academic activities to give them the possibility to be more involved in the research activity and be in contact with experienced scholars.
- It takes a whole village to raise a child.
Students will learn if the entire environment is organized to help them to learn. My role as a teacher is to set the stage for discussion and interactive learning in class. I spend countless hours to prepare the class, the material and the activities for my students. In my course I invite practitioners and formers students to present their work. Outside the class I organize a weekly lab meetings where student can present their ideas and be part of scientific research in Behavioral Economics.
- It is not all about us.
Teachers often focus on what they say and what they do. Instead I try to focus on what students say and do in class. I believe that learning is an active process and students are the main characters. For instance in my course I organize a “challenge”, where students can compete proposing their original ideas to answer the proposed research question.
- Education isn’t just one way.
When I go to class, I am always curious to discover what I will learn. Students are an inspiration for me and over the years they taught me several important things and made me a better human being. For instance, I encourage my students to write short research proposal that I evaluate and financed with my research funds. Some of these research projects are now academic papers and my students had the possibility to publish their work in prestigious international journals.
I think my enthusiasm and passion for Economics are reflected in my teaching and I hope are passed on to my students. In the classroom, I concentrate on teaching students to think independently and express their own opinions. Through this method, I believe students acquire important life-long skills, such as critical thinking and creative problem-solving, which can be applied to their daily life.
I use several complementary strategies to explain concepts and engage students in active learning:
- Critical thinking: I pose qualitative questions during the lecture and I encourage students to propose their answer without any fear. I think that asking questions is the best tool to collect opinions in class and lead to active discussions.
- Visual explanation: I like to prepare beautiful slides with pictures, videos and quiz questions to catch students attention and make concepts easier to remember.
- Applied experiments: Using my expertise in experimental economics, I engage students through use of classroom experiments to illustrate concepts. I think this is a valuable and unique tool for my students to learn both basic and complex concepts.
- Link to practice: It is important to help students link their economic knowledge to the events that appear in the news and that affect them. For this reason I bring current news stories into the classroom and challenge them to give me an economic explanation of these phenomena.
- Link to research: It is important that students understand that science is not a static set of knowledge but a dynamic process. For this reason, I incorporate the most recent scientific results into my lectures, including my own work.
Finally some videos that inspired me as a teacher:
Books that inspired me: