Steve Horwitz now paces back and forth across the front of our lecture hall, offering a revisionist take on the Great Depression. This gives him an excellent platform for explaining the theory and practice of monetary policy. It also gives him a welcome opportunity to lay a few well-deserved blows to Hoover and Roosevelt.
I find teaching at IHS Liberty & Society seminars rewarding for many, many reasons. Among those, I rank learning about teaching very highly. The good people of IHS give careful thought about how to best serve their students, and gently but persistently encourage their faculty to adopt innovative and effective teaching methods. Sitting through a seminar thus gives me a chance to watch four skilled pedagogues stretching to do their best.
Steve, for instance, does a superb job of peppering his talk with quick little questions like, "What would that do to prices?" "Who benefited from that policy?" and "How can we explain that outcome?" The students quickly adapt to his call-and-answer rhythm, offering answers without raising their hands. Steve thereby keeps his audience engaged while at the same time winning near-constant feedback about whether they follow his train of thought.