“I teach, therefore I take.” The 2018 Lucasse Lecture

The only piece of advice Kalamazoo College Senior Instructor of Economics Chuck Stull received before his first teaching job in graduate school was to erase a blackboard using vertical strokes. That’s not much prep for a teacher whose faculty colleagues recently awarded K’s highest teaching honor: the 2018 Lucasse Lectureship. Professor Stull made up for that early dearth of advice by inventing his own pedagogical approaches (simple, specific, and surprising) that open insights into complicated subject matter. How does he invent? By combining ideas from different sources—art, card playing, tango dancing (“I teach, therefore I steal”)—in order to illuminate economics. Always, always experiment, he advised in his delightful acceptance lecture. Then count on some failures, which will be as important as the successes. After all, few things are as vital to sustained good teaching than putting yourself in situations that allow you to remember: 1) what it’s like to not know, and 2) the subsequent pure joy of your mind reshaping itself to learn.