Murshed Chowdhury, PhD
I consider teaching as a tool that helps to empower students to make a difference in their lives as well as in the lives of those around them. As a facilitator in the classroom, I follow several principles while teaching course materials. First, I create a healthy learning atmosphere in the classroom that students get encouraged to attend the lectures. Second, I prepare my teaching notes in a way that students can learn about how economic theories can be connected to the reality. Moreover, I present course materials that promote intellectual growth and create opportunity of critical thinking for students. Finally, I design assignments and exams in a way that can motivate students to learn course materials.
Learning, as I see it, is a participatory process that starts with knowledge accumulation and ends with application of knowledge. The role of a teacher is to provide an environment for learning and to enhance the process of individual growth. To ensure such a learning environment, my class periods are characterized by a high degree of engagement and active involvement of students. In the classroom, I encourage lively conversations based on readings, lectures, and current events. I have found that students learn the most when they can interact with their instructors. To encourage students’ participation, during the first class, I clearly mention that “open respectful communication should guide each class”. I invite students to feel comfortable raising their hand whenever they have a question.
I have come to understand that teachers serve as guides and motivators to students. Not everybody in a group has the same learning abilities. Some students do not need to have an overview of why particular material is important, how that material is linked to previous learning, and how the current material will be connected to the future content. However, there are students for whom this type of overview is fundamental to their learning success. I always start my lectures with a synopsis of the material to bring the class together in the same boat and then move on to the next topic. In this way, I can guide the class as a group towards the desired destination.
Courses in Economics vary from quantitative to qualitative. I have the experience of teaching both types of courses. One of the major challenges that I confront is that my student’s skills have a bimodal distribution, with one group of students who have a solid background in mathematics and the other group of students who are struggling with the quantitative nature of the course. To effectively teach the whole class, I modify my lecture notes in a way that the basic concepts are presented with rigorous proofs as well as with lot of examples, from very simple to difficult ones. In this way, not only can students without a strong mathematics background can catch up, but also students with a strong mathematics background can find something to gear up their knowledge. For qualitative courses, I put more emphasize on reading materials and how students can reveal important concepts from the reading materials.
Finally, I believe, teaching is a very challenging endeavor, but it is also very rewarding. Seeing students truly capturing the meaning of the material, how it relates to other courses, and how it can be used in practical applications is one of the most exciting parts of being an instructor. By accomplishing these things, I can help my students become talented, creative and effective learners. As a teacher, I believe that bestowing my students with confidence in their critical thinking abilities, as well as their ability to communicate their knowledge, is of utmost importance. I have worked at perfecting my teaching strategies over the years. Teaching is a delicate process that has to be done with extreme care. I know that I have been an effective teacher, as many students have taken the time to write notes to tell me “Thank you for your teaching.”
Selected Journal Articles:
- “Remittance Behaviour of Chinese and Indian Immigrants in Canada”, Review of Economics, (De Gruyter), 67(2), forthcoming
- “ICT Diffusion, Financial Development and Economic Growth: New Evidence from Low and Lower Middle Income Countries”, Journal of Knowledge Economy (Springer Publishing), forthcoming
- “Non-Linear Dynamics of Employment, Output and Real Wages in Canada: Recent Time Series Evidence”,Journal of Economic Studies, 41(4), pp.554-568 (with A. McFarlane & A. Das).
- “The Dynamics of Natural Gas Consumption and GDP in Bangladesh”, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 22, pp. 269-274, 2013 (with A. Das and A. McFarlane).
- “The Dynamics of Electricity Consumption and Growth Nexus: Empirical Evidence from Three Developing Regions”,Margin: The Journal of Applied Economic Research, 4(6), 445-466, 2012 (with A. Das and S. Khan).
- “Remittances and GDP Dynamics in 11 Developing Countries”, The Romanian Economic Journal, XIV (42), pp.3-23, 2011 (with A. Das).
- “Effects of ICT Development and Economic Growth in Emerging Asian Countries”, In B. Dey, K. Sorour and R. Filleri (eds)ICTs in Developing Countries: Research, Practices and Policy Implications (2016), Chapter: 9, pp.141-159, London: Palgrave Macmillan (with A. Das and S. Khan).
Murshed Chowdhury, PhD
Office: Singer Hall, Room #460