Teaching Statement

Kostas Vasilopoulos

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching approach is inclusive, student-centred, reflective, and fully engaged with the development of others, in particular, those who lack confidence. I support development and understanding by engaging with the expressed needs of students. I seek to foster a safe learning environment in which questions are valued and encouraged. I encourage peer interactions through which learners challenge and develop their understanding; set tasks which focus on explaining, evaluating, and deriving knowledge, rather than recalling or repeating memorised facts and techniques. I place substantial weight on a deep understanding of the subject material, and less weight on the written repetition of facts. I seek to emphasise problem-solving techniques rather than outcome; explicitly identify those critical skills and techniques that will underpin a large amount of future study, as distinct from those that are specialised to the present situation. My emphasis is on supporting learners to derive solutions and explanations, rather than on the accuracy with which they carry out that problem-solving process on any given occasion.

Teaching Experience

During my four-year studies, I have been a teaching assistant for two modules. My responsibilities included delivering tutorial and workshop sessions, script marking and exam invigilation. In the first half of my studies, I was allocated to “Economics 102”, which is an introductory course in Economics for non-economics majors (e.g. History, Accounting, etc.). The students in this module came from multiple backgrounds, with no prior exposure to economics. For the second half of my studies, I delivered “Econ 222”. This course is a second-year course to Intermediate Macroeconomics, that was comprised of tutorial and workshop sessions. The workload on this module demanded 10 classes of 15 students on a weekly basis. The experience I acquired in these courses supplied me with the necessary skills to support students with different needs and background.

Furthermore, in the last two years of my Ph.D., I worked in the Maths and Stats (MASH) mentoring scheme in Managements School. During that time, I developed and mentored students in one-to-one contexts. I was using a coaching approach that engages with the student through gentle questioning and exploration, finding out exactly where the student is with their learning. Once I understood the current issue the student is experiencing, I was facilitating their understanding and movement forward with their maths through dialogue. Also, among my responsibilities, they were workshop organisation and delivery and teaching on the one-day bootcamps.

Teaching Interests

I will be happy to teach courses in macroeconomics, time-series econometrics, and real estate economics. In courses like quantitative methods or econometrics, I will try to incorporate the use of open-source programming software (e.g. R and Python) to help students gain a firmer grasp of the underlying theory and obtain the necessary programming skills. With the teaching experience, I have had so far; I feel confident to be able to take the challenges of preparing a new course.