John Papola on Teaching Economics
By David Henderson
I gave a talk at a joint Institute for Humane Studies/Mercatus Center event in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. One of the other speakers was John Papola who, along with Russ Roberts, made the two Keynes/Hayek videos (here and here). John Papola talked about how the web and cheap movie cameras might revolutionize economics education. John said words roughly like the following:
Why go in and have the students listen to your lecture and take notes when, instead, you can hone the lecture and do your best job? Then it can be filmed, the students can watch the film, and then you can use class time for questions and the various things they’ve thought of or had trouble with.
That made sense. Then I thought about the implications for the students’ time. Now, outside of class, they would need not only to do the readings but also to watch a film. Granted that I could do a honed lecture in 75 minutes or less rather than the 100 minutes we spend in class. So that would free up 25 minutes. But that still means the students are spending x (where x is the amount of time they spend reading) + 75 minutes. So for the same time commitment by the students, that would give us 25 minutes for class time. Maybe I’m just too stuck in my ways, but I’m trying to imagine how this would work.
Anyone? John Papola? Bueller?