· 2014-2015: Undergraduate- Law Sciences at Universitat Rovira i Virgili: Economy (6 ETCS)
· 2013-2014: Undergraduate- Economics at Universitat Rovira i Virgili: Applied economics principles (6 ETCS)
· 2013-2014: Undergraduate- Labour Relations and employment at Universitat Rovira i Virgili: Labour economics (3 ETCS)
· 2013-2014: Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Universidad Internacional de la Rioja: Supervisor of Master thesis (6 ETCS)
· 2011-2012: Undergraduate- Economics / Business Administration and Management at Universitat Rovira i Virgili: Industrial policy (3 ETCS)
· 2010-2011: Undergraduate- Economics / Business Administration and Management at Universitat Rovira i Virgili: Applied economics principles (1.5 ETCS)
· 2009-2010: Undergraduate- Economics / Business Administration and Management at Universitat Rovira i Virgil: Applied economics principles (1.5 ETCS)
· since 2006 (out of University): critical economics teaching with Seminari d’Economia Taifa: Applied economics and History of Economic Thought.
· 2015-2016: High School at Ins Campclar de Tarragona. Economics for High School.
Teaching economics is, at the very least, a complex matter. It was Joan Robinson who in 1978, after reflecting on modern economic theory, arrived at the conclusion that the ultimate purpose of studying economics was “to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists”. In line with Robinson, I believe that sound teaching in economics, whatever the course, must be built upon a combination of two, non-exclusive basic elements. First, there is a need to provide a good understanding of economics reasoning. A professor I had in my master studies once told me that learning economics was mainly about learning to think in a very particular way, what he termed “economic thinking”. I thus seek to provide my students with a well-equipped toolbox that will allow them to thoroughly understand the fundamentals of the discipline. The second basic element, however, consists in stimulating a healthy skepticism about such economic thinking. Economic models cannot fully characterize the many forces at work, and even if they could, some of their underlying assumptions are not always as plausible as is often supposed. Therefore, a deeper knowledge of the assumptions behind economic theory and the recognition of the (potential) distance between them and the real world, are of paramount importance if students are to be able to grasp the complexity of the economics of the real world without deception. Key to this endeavour is the promotion of critical thinking.
The core course materials I design aim to make this connection with real world the closest possible, and a hand-on approach is critical: My course outlines usually follow one or two well-known textbooks, complemented by a reading list of other materials. In my experience, students feel more comfortable when they have a basic textbook to which they can refer. I supplement this by drawing on everyday economic events to frame my classes. In a course of undergraduate applied economics I taught in 2012, this was relatively easy as at the time the newspapers were full of fresh practical cases on national debt crises, balance of payments issues, unemployment rates, etc. In that occasion, I managed to bring one piece of news to every single session. This guaranteed an effective link between theoretical, and often abstract knowledge, and everyday reality and students valued it.
I try to orient my classes towards student-centered learning. I aim to build a learning environment where students feel comfortable and secure enough to develop resolute and self-regulatory judgment. I draw upon new technologies to provide a set of interactive activities that encourage active learning. For instance, in an industrial policy course, I had students tweet questions on the class readings or share news related to the course in the class twitter account. Then, in class I brought up some of the on-line discussions and used them to frame the lesson in terms of their own learning interests. My experience has shown me that enabling students to address their own interests not only prompts a better understanding of the course content but also greater enjoyment of the subject. Besides, there is usually a strong positive correlation between the marks students obtained on essays or exams and their degree of involvement in the interactive activities proposed.
As in research, I think it is essential to try to remain up to date through ongoing teaching training. I have completed several courses during my academic career that have helped me to refine my skills in lecturing and small group teaching, course design, and dealing with cultural diversity in the classroom; they have also reinforced my conviction that involving students in problem-solving through small-group work helps them to grasp the economic mechanisms that underlie societal inefficiencies and how these can be potentially be addressed on a policy level.
Jordi Teixidó. Firenze, November 2016