Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow Spotlight: Chris Bennett
Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. In December 2010, Chris Bennett, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics talked about his teaching philosophy and interests.
Since joining the Department of Economics in the Fall of 2008, I have had the opportunity to teach classes in statistics and econometrics to students at various levels, including undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students. Invariably, these classes require that students grapple with material that is both conceptually and
technically difficult. Teaching therefore requires striking a fine balance. Indeed, while it is important to train students to become comfortable with the essential mathematical tools of analysis, this should not be done at the expense of their gaining an enduring understanding of the basic principles. Nor should students be robbed of an opportunity to see statistical analysis brought to life through interesting and timely practical applications.
“…while it is important to train students to become comfortable with the essential mathematical tools of analysis, this should not be done at the expense of their gaining an enduring understanding of the basic principles.”
In tackling these challenges, I have benefited enormously from previous workshops at the CFT. Now, as a participant in this year’s Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows program, I have a unique opportunity to interact with senior faculty mentors, CFT senior staff, as well as a number junior faculty members from from various departments across the university. This experience will certainly help me identify further useful techniques and technologies that will benefit me and ultimately benefit my students.