With my training, I am interested in teaching any undergraduate coursework in Economics and Statistics. The courses I have taught include Principles of Microeconomics, Intermediate Microeconomics, Introduction to the Economics of Business (this course is directed towards the MBA students) and Competition, Monopoly and Public Policy (Spring 2012). Other courses I feel I am competent in teaching at the undergraduate level includes Economics and Business Statistics, Labor Economics, Managerial Economics, Industrial Organization, and Public Finance and Economics. I also feel comfortable teaching graduate courses. These courses include Microeconomic Theory, Labor Economics, and Industrial Organization.
Teaching is the art of motivating and training students to engage in a thoughtful and critical way with the world that we live in. My goal as an educator is to increase this level of engagement by developing lectures and assignments that focus in generating a high level of energy, interest, and motivation in students towards the subject of economics. Another objective is to help students fulfill their highest potential by making the classroom a sound learning environment where students develop critical thinking skills by actively participating in discussions and projects that challenge them to engage critically with the subject matter. I set high academic standards while acting as a guide as students hone their skills.
My teaching philosophy has been greatly
influenced by my mentors. Not only did
they teach me to understand and appreciate economics, but as counselors they
generated trust that made learning a more productive and comfortable
experience. Similarly, I start my
classes by getting to know my students personally through an informational
sheet that provides me with their background, learning techniques, hobbies,
jobs and concerns about the economy. I
use this information in many of my class examples to elicit responses even from
the “quiet” students. Student
participation is important as it also allows me to build a rapport with my
students and gain the feedback needed to gauge their understanding of course
material. Through interaction and
participation, professors and students can have a more fulfilling intellectual
experience that helps students engage with what is for many of them a difficult
Economics can be narrow and abstract to students and so introducing topics in ways that they can relate to, help capture students’ attention and promotes learning. The idea is to help students understand the connection between the subject matter and their lives. Hence, many of my assignments and in-class examples relate to current economic conditions that affect their lives. In addition, I make the material more interesting to students by sharing my experiences of growing up in a foreign country. For example, I discuss the economic conditions of my home country of Kenya when teaching students about child labor, tragedy of the commons, property rights, government intervention, and trade.Another important learning tool I use in my classes is providing in-class assignments that help students understand the context of many controversial topics in Economics, ranging from political and social issues to one’s family background. Often students have strong preconceptions about certain topics. My role as an educator is to make available the tools of economics that can assist in critically analyzing complex real-world situations. For example, I ask students to form small groups and to determine a market and command solution to a bird flu that strikes all children of a small country that has a limited number of vaccines. Debates and discussions on government involvement in the healthcare industry always follow. My role is to ensure a lively but cordial atmosphere to enhance constructive thinking by taking a neutral stance while highlighting productive and insightful contributions to the discussion. Their views then provide me with reference points to revisit throughout the lecture.
A good teacher also needs to be flexible. I have taught many different levels of classes at both a large public university and a small liberal arts institution. Both offer unique challenges and my skills have evolved through all these challenges. I have been able to adapt to disparate students’ needs and abilities. Furthermore, the opportunity to interact closely with students, sharing conversations about ideas in economics has emphasized the importance of research in two ways. First, students are often interested in reflections from my research throughout my lectures. For instance, I have taught innovations and incentives using my patent research and opportunity costs using my retention research. Second, students care if the research is compatible to the undergraduate environment so that they are able to pursue research projects as investigators.
My goal as a teacher is to continually improve. A teacher never stops being a student and can improve through learning. One way of achieving this is through student feedback. I ask my students to submit anonymous evaluations half way through the semester to provide suggestions on how to enhance their learning experience for the remaining portion of the semester. I further ask for critiques on my teaching from other instructors and former students. Other important ways to maintain high standards include continually updating my lecture plans, keeping pace with local and international events, and observing other instructors teach.
I have a passion for teaching. With every class, I feel I am becoming a better teacher and a well-rounded scholar. In both of these roles, I hope to bring my intellectual ability, resourcefulness, and drive to create the best outcomes for my students. I find that in the pursuit of educating the student, I have learned a lot about myself. At the end of the day, teaching brings a smile to my face when I am part of the process of developing young minds.
Principles of Microeconomics (ECO-202)
Section 1: Evaluation: XX/4.00/Response rate: XX%
Principles of Macroeconomics (ECO-201)
Section 5: Evaluation: XX/4.00/Response rate: XX%
Section 6: Evaluation: XX/4.00/Response rate: XX%
Principles of Microeconomics (ECO-121)
Section A: Evaluation: 4.77/5.00;Response rate: 96.15%
Section B: Evaluation: 4.53/5.00;Response rate: 96%
Competition, Monopoly and Public Policy (ECO-257)
Evaluation: 4.65/5.00;Response rate: 75%
Principles of Microeconomics (ECO -121)
Section A: Evaluation: 4.56/5.00;Response rate: 90%
Section B: Evaluation: 4.26/5.00;Response rate: 84%
Section D: Evaluation: 4.40/5.00;Response rate: 92%
Introduction to the Economics of Business (B&E 223)
Section 410: Evaluation: 4.0/4.0;Response rate: 88.9%
Intermediate Microeconomics (ECO 401)
Section 20: Evaluation: 3.6/4.0;Response rate: 73.7%
Principles of Microeconomics (ECO 201)
Section 402: Evaluation: 3.2/4.0;Response rate: 75.0%
Principles of Microeconomics (ECO 201)
Section 22: Evaluation: 3.7/4.0;Response rate: 41.2%
Principle of Microeconomics
This course will provide an introduction to the principles of microeconomics. We will consider the basic tools of economic theory used to study markets, individual consumer behavior, and the behavior of firms. We will examine how markets work and how supply and demand interact to determine prices. We will also study what happens when markets fail and the role of the government in market activity. The economic tools that we acquire in this course are applied by managers in the business sector, policy makers in the government sector, and economic researchers in the academic arena. Students successfully completing this course should leave with an understanding of these basic economic principles and their applicability to real world situations. You should also be able to incorporate the tools of economic analysis into your own decision-making processes as you weigh costs and benefits to make choices.
Principle of Macroeconomics
This course is the core course in microeconomic theory in the undergraduate economics program. The main objective of this course is to introduce students to the formal analysis in microeconomic theory. This course will allow students to familiarize with the methodology and nomenclature used in the analysis of microeconomic problems. Students will be able to apply the theory and understand the limitations of the neoclassical paradigm. This course will aid students in the understanding their ideological perspective of economic relationships. This will allow students to do well in future economics courses, better understand economic issues and ask the ‘right’ questions.
Competition, Monopoly and Public Policy
This course applies basic economic principles to the types of problems faced by business decision-makers. Particular attention is paid to the economics of organizations (internal and external) and to the economics of firm strategy (competitive practices for dealing with rivals). Topics covered include the nature of economic organizations, the make or buy decision and the vertical chain of production, corporate governance, distribution channels, external market structure, selling decisions, and rivalry and strategy. Applications to management, finance, and marketing are stressed.
Introduction to the Economics of Business
This course is specifically designed to help prepare prospective MBA students for the economics and business classes they will take in the MBA program. This course will provide an introduction to the principles of microeconomics. We will consider the basic tools of economic theory used to study markets, individual consumer behavior, and the behavior of firms. We will examine how markets work and how supply and demand interact to determine prices. This course will also provide an introduction to market structures and strategic pricing behavior. The economic tools that we acquire in this course are applied by managers in the business sector, policy makers in the government sector, and economic researchers in the academic arena. Students successfully completing this course should leave with an understanding of these basic economic principles and their applicability to real world situations. Students should also be able to incorporate the tools of economic analysis into your own decision-making processes as you weigh costs and benefits to make choices.
“The course is fun and entertaining with all of the activities we do in class. I feel like I am understanding [sic] most of the things we go over, because we practice things so much. The study guides for the test are great and the professor is always available to be contacted for help.”
“I enjoy this class because not only is it interactive but it is fun to be in. I understand Economics which is very odd for me. I have never understood it and now because of your teaching skills I am.”
“I like how the classes are very organized and all the lectures are through powerpoints. On top of that the powerpoints are then put on inquire for us to look at whenever we need to. I also like that there are daily quizzes on the things we learned in the previous class. These quizzes help me retain the facts and topics we learn about. Professor Patel knows what he is talking about and is very knowledgable [sic] unlike some professors I have had in the past. I also love that Professor Patel plays a song before class that has to do with economics. I find that really cool because I have never seen anyone do that before and it gets me excited about what we are going to do in class that day.”
“I really like Dr. Patels teaching style, he really makes sure you know the topic that were discussing in class. I like all the examples he gives, the powerpoints for notes and just really how he takes the time to make micro econ make sense. Id say [sic] he's probably the best econ professor I've had at Roanoke. I also like the daily quizzes because it keeps me on the ball and on track to do well on the test.”
“I enjoy learning the subject material greatly, and I really like the fact that my professor can provide both simple and more complex examples when I need clarification on a topic. He knows the material very well, and it is clear he enjoys teaching and talking about the material very much.”
“The topic of economics interests me as I am pursueing [sic] a degree in Business and Finance. I like the format of the class, mixing slides, videos, real world applications to structured and detailed lecture.”
“The powerpoints really add to discussion because there is time for the student to think and discuss topics rather than writing all the notes. Many reinforcing examples and exercises are utilized to help explain ideas.”
“I like this course because of Dr. Patel. He makes Economics easy and fun to learn. He puts his information and knowledge into terms that can be understood. He uses real life scenarios to explain his lessons. I am a visual learning and he allows my way of learning to be shown in his lectures.”
“Understanding of the professor. Willingness to provide extra help. Very open to suggestions and keeps students engaged in the material.”
“I like the in class examples, for instance the bidding game at the beginning of the year with the tickets it really brings things down to a level that I can understand.”
University of Kentucky
“Darshak Patel has done an excellent job relating economics to real-world situations. He has done a great job preparing us for the MBA managerial economics course. He has the ability to make economics interesting, a subject I didn't really care much for during my undergrad years.”
“The quality of teaching exceeded my expectations and I actually enjoyed the class. I have had this class before and I learned more this time than I had previously. The instructor was able to relate the course concepts to everyday life and topics of interest.”
“Great job! Teaching style was very effective. Examples used were most helpful in contributing to understanding of subject matter.”
“I really enjoyed this course. Prof. Patel did a great job of making the material understandable for those of us who did not have a strong background in economics. He went above and beyond to make time for us outside of class, as well.”
“The teacher had great knowledge of the subject. He was down to earth. He was available whenever anyone needed help. The tests were what was taught in class, no outside/textbook questions. The course was challenging yet I feel everyone had a chance to improve”
“Like instructor a lot – he’s doing a really good job for a grad student! Enjoyed the problem sets – they helped a lot. Barely looked at the textbook, didn’t buy the course pack, didn’t need either. In-class instruction and assignments were sufficient for learning.”
“Wonderful instructor, second time taking it and I completely understand the material”