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Heterogeneous Students, Impartial Teaching and Optimal Allocation of Teaching Methods


  • Carmen Lamagna

    (American International University Bangladesh)

  • Sheikh Selim

    (University of Southampton)


This paper addresses the issue of identifying optimal mix of teaching methods for an instructor when students are of heterogeneous types. The exact student type cannot be identified ex ante which forces the instructor to act impartially and allocate teaching methods according to some pre-designed plan. In a simple model of instructor-student interaction, we show that if the instructor acts benevolent and impartially towards preparing the initial teaching method plan, there exists a unique optimal mix of teaching methods. We calibrate the impartial teaching model with data on the teaching of Business and Economics related undergraduate and postgraduate units, and find that the characterized optimal teaching method mix differs significantly across different units.

Suggested Citation

  • Carmen Lamagna & Sheikh Selim, 2005. "Heterogeneous Students, Impartial Teaching and Optimal Allocation of Teaching Methods," General Economics and Teaching 0503011, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpgt:0503011
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 22. AIUB-ORP Working paper version December 2004. Final version accepted for publication in the AIUB Journal of Business & Economics (AJBE).

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Correa, Hector & Gruver, Gene W., 1987. "Teacher-student interaction: A game theoretic extension of the economic theory of education," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 19-47, February.
    2. Allgood, Sam, 2001. "Grade targets and teaching innovations," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 485-493, October.
    3. Huang, Cliff J., 1981. "Optimal allocation of faculty time under uncertainty in production," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 99-112, February.
    4. Oosterbeek, Hessel, 1995. "Choosing the optimum mix of duration and effort in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 253-263, September.
    5. Becker, William E, Jr, 1982. "The Educational Process and Student Achievement Given Uncertainty in Measurement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 229-236, March.
    6. McDonough, Carol C & Kannenberg, Lloyd C, 1977. "The Microeconomic Impact of a Reduction in Faculty Teaching Loads," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(28), pages 112-120, June.
    7. Ross Guest, 2001. "The Instructor's Optimal Mix of Teaching Methods," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 313-326.
    8. Bacdayan, Andrew W., 1997. "A mathematical analysis of the learning production process and a model for determining what matters in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 25-37, February.
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    More about this item


    Active Teaching; Passive Teaching; Impartial Teaching;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching

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