The Handbook for Economics Teaching Assistants

Below are some suggestions of further reading, first on class teaching, and then on student study support, as well as links to university handbooks (mostly from the USA).

Class Teaching

The first books listed are practical, containing a number of simple 'hints and tips'. Gibbs and Habeshaw contextualise these tips to some extent with ideas about theories of learning.

Gibbs, G and Habeshaw, T (1989) Preparing to Teach: an introduction to effective teaching in higher education, Technical & Educational Services Ltd, Bristol, pp 255.

Hubbard, R. (1995) 53 Ways to Ask Questions in Mathematics and Statistics, Technical and Educational Services Ltd, Bristol, pp 188.

For more on running discursive classes see:

Taylor, Rebecca (2002) "Seminars" in Peter Davies (Ed.) (2002) The Handbook for Economics Lecturers: Teaching, Bristol: Economics LTSN. Online at

Brookfield, Stephen D and Preskill, Stephen (1999) Discussion as a way of teaching: tools and techniques for university teachers, Open University Press, Buckingham, pp 191.

For some detailed guidance on assessment, and in particular essay marking see:

Rowntree, Derek (1987) Assessing students : how shall we know them? Kogan Page, London, pp273.

Brown, G; Bull, J and Pendlebury, M. (1997) Assessing student learning in higher education, Routledge, London, pp317. In particular Chapter 5, Assessing Essays.

Student Support

Skills Grid for students (Leeds University)

You may want to encourage students to read things for themselves, for example:

Drew, Sue and Bingham, Rosie (1997) The student skills guide, Gower, Aldershot, pp439.

Institutional Handbooks

Colorado State University has a dedicated handbook for Teaching Assistants in Economics.

The following are institutional handbooks for teaching assistants, with some institution-specific detail but with useful general guidance:

  1. University of California, San Diego
  2. Cornell University
  3. Tufts University
  4. Honolulu University teaching tips
  5. Indiana University