Tying Loose Ends: Economics and Teaching


With the goal of finishing my incomplete thoughts from this past week, I'm writing the night away.


Part I: The Art of Manliness
Part II: Economics and Teaching
Part III: Spring Break Recap

A few days ago, I wrote about some of my teaching philosophy. I figured out that I just intrinsically love knowledge, both acquiring and spreading it. But I was a little lost about where I wanted to go with my teaching career, and how to use my love for teaching for the most good.

The next day, Sandeep happened to tweet an article that was a tremendous catalyst in finding my answer to that challenging question.

-- By the way, I just want to say that I'm happy that one of my 'First World Problems' is having an overachieving brother : ) --

The article, Why Some Countries Go Bust, by Adam Davidson, explains one Daron Acemoglu's theory on why some countries do well and some don't. After superficially batting away prevailing theories (freedom of the markets, overpopulation, geography, and more), Davidson presents Acemoglu's thesis that whether or not a country succeeds is closely related to "the degree to which the average person shares in the overall growth of its economy."

Rather than blindly babbling on in this unfamiliar realm of economics, I'd like to bring this back to teaching. I think this is a simple, robust guiding principle that answers the question I was struggling with: How do I use my love for teaching for good?

If this theory is correct, then what America needs most is equality of opportunity between all demographics. I believe that education ought to be the great equalizer, so it follows that I should do my best, inside the classroom and out, to present opportunities to those who have few.

Boom. Now I have working concepts for why I like teaching and why I want to teach. If you haven't, you should try to do the same about your career path!