‘Your Teaching Style Does Matter’
Danil Feodorovykh, a teacher in HSE’s Subdepartment of Microeconomic Analysis, has been elected by the students as one of the best seminar teachers of 2012 at HSE. He spoke to Andrei Scherbakov of the HSE news portal about teaching style and microeconomics.
AS: Teaching is a bit like acting, isn’t it — you have to perform for your audience —
DF: Yes, it is. And I’m convinced that style is a very important part of the job. As soon as I started teaching at Vyshka’s Department of Economic Theory, I was lecturing to large audiences and you can’t relax even for a second otherwise the students get bored and contact is broken.
AS: What is important in teaching?
DF: You need to keep contact with your students, not just during lessons but outside the lecture hall too. The university provides many ways to do that but I love talking about microeconomics so if my students want to see me outside of hours, I’ll try to work in a meeting. It’s also an important part of the teaching process. I try to introduce a broader, not just abstract, approach to microeconomic analysis. With my students, we looked at how microeconomic models can show that, contrary to expectation, the introduction of stricter fines for not wearing a seat belt can cause an increase in road deaths.
AS: Which books do you think are essential for learning about Microeconomics?
DF: There are some good books that we use on our courses – Hal Varian’s “Intermediate Microeconomics” for example and the less well known but also very good textbook “Price Theory and Applications” by Steven Landsburg.
AS: You also teach school kids, can you tell us something about that?
I set tasks for school Olympiads and am one of the authors of the site on economics for school kids - http://iloveeconomics.ru/. I like explaining to non-economists why microeconomics is so interesting. It’s key to show the connections between the theories and models and real life. There are quite a few very good popular science books that explain these connections, like Steven Levitt’s “Freakonomics” and Steven Landsburg’s “The Armchair Economist” which has come out in Russian recently.
AS: You are doing post graduate studies yourself and working on a dissertation. What is your research about?
DF: It’s about investigating corruption. My supervisor who is the head of our department, Mark Levin is a well-known specialist in the field. Together, we’re trying to research the structure of corrupt cooperation. Our work will be mainly theoretical; researching corruption is difficult – you can’t just go up to people and ask them if they have given bribes or taken them. In general, there are problems in gathering empirical material about corruption, but I hope that we manage to achieve something that will deepen our understanding of how the shadow economy works.
Mikhail Blinkin is one of Russia’s leading experts in urbanism, city planning, and urban transport. He has headed the HSE Institute for Transport Economics and Transport Policy Studies since 2011 and has been HSE Tenured Professor since 2013. In 2017, Mikhail Blinkin was the recipient of an HSE Honour Award 1st Class, as well as the Golden HSE award for Best Expert.
On November 27, the HSE Academic Council held an awards ceremony dedicated to the university’s 25th anniversary. The meeting saw the participation of representatives of the Russian President, members of government, and members of the Russian Federal Assembly. Governmental awards were given to a number of HSE employees for their tremendous accomplishments.
The Best Teachers 2017 competition at HSE recently reached its completion. Although the overall procedure this year was the same as it was in 2016, the financial terms changed – the bonuses for the winners have been increased. Vadim Radaev, First Vice Rector of HSE, told us about the vote and some of the perks for all of the winners.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree for the commendation of prominent public and political figures. Andrey Zhulin, Vice Rector at HSE Perm, Galina Volodina, Director of HSE Perm, and Valeria Kasamara, HSE’s Senior Director for Government Relations, are among the figures mentioned in the decree.
From May 29 to June 18 students can vote for HSE’s best teachers of the academic year. This year there is no need to come to the university to vote. Students can submit their scores online via LMS.
Students and alumni of the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and St. Petersburg have determined the Best Teachers of 2015. HSE First Vice Rector Vadim Radaev discusses the results of the voting.
A book entitled The Mythologies of Capitalism and the End of the Soviet Project by Associate Professor at the HSE Faculty of Media Communications Olga Baysha has been published by Lexington Books (United States).