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Practical matters How to find us T.M. (Tarek) Harchaoui, Dr

T.M. (Tarek) Harchaoui, Dr

Assistant Professor

Three major themes are woven into my teaching philosophy which emphasizes learning content and acquiring related skills.

First, the notion of story-telling is central for engaging my students in the topic of the lesson. Behind every econometric technique, international trade theory, and theoretical argument is a vivid anecdote or narrative that I consider part of my core responsibility to share with students in an effort to demonstrate the relevance of the topic of the day. For example, while topics in international trade theory can be dry for first year students, I constantly try to illustrate how and why the theory can be helpful in explaining some obvious facts of life such as the presence in our regular stores of goods manufactured in a foreign country, the possible foreign ownership of the store itself, and possibly the immigrant background of the salesperson, etc. I also encourage students of the econometrics course to constantly go beyond the mere use of STATA and strive to learn how to effectively translate complex econometric results into the bottom line that can be understood at a given dinner table conversation.

Second, teaching implies the need to give students the opportunity to grasp a certain number of tools (i.e., concept, theories, and methods), to use them effectively to interpret the real world surrounding them, and to develop a process of critical thinking. I present a new chapter from the course outline not merely as a new milestone in the course program, but as an opportunity for students to better understand the big picture and to be in a position to link together the course’s themes. For example, parts of my exams, essay topics, and research projects are generally open ended with no single “correct” answer as I am more interested in developing a student’s capacity to argue cogently, persuasively, and synthetically than in a standard textbook type of answer.

Third, I strive to encourage and challenge my students with the hope that they, in turn, challenge me. While I am a passionate teacher who takes his responsibilities seriously, I empower students to take an active part in the teaching sessions. Students are, therefore, at the center of my teaching process which promotes thinking ‘outside the box’. For example, I typically assign some students the task of providing an ‘executive summary’ of the previous lesson while encouraging others to raise provocative and thoughtful questions about the material. I also invite students into a relationship with the larger world around them, constantly encouraging them to develop, extend, and test their insights in the broader world while effectively communicating their message.

See here for an overview of the courses I teach and those that I have taught in recent years.

Last modified:25 June 2022 10.52 a.m.