I recently received an offer to teach agricultural economics at a Chinese university. After getting a little background info about the university and life in those cities, I decided to refuse it. But the interest in teaching agricultural economics is still there, pushing me from the back. So I`ve started thinking how I would teach agricultural economics to students, at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
The prerequisites I would ask for a course in Ag Econ would definitely be an Economics course and a communications one. The Economics prerequisite might split into two courses, depending on the university and what curricula they have: Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. I would like the communications one to be split between policy communications and corporate or digital communications.
I can’t tell you what my course in Ag Econ would contain because it depends on the university, country and many more factors.
But I can tell you some teaching methods.
I never liked the classic teaching style: a professor coming in front of the students, presenting hour after hour the information that you get from the course bibliography. Instead of these classic presentations, it is better to get students involved in what they have to learn through classroom games, group and individual projects and a few other methods. A method that I always liked was “the virtual enterprise” where students can see how they would work in a company either created by them or an existing one.
Going over the bibliography is a must, but it shouldn’t be over every page in the book/s. Explain the concepts, introduce the methods and students will better understand the subject. Projects and games would ground this knowledge.