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Teaching Resources


In this month's collection, we're streamlining what we hope is helpful information for the transition to online teaching and learning that so many of us throughout the world must face.

In lieu of an email collection in March, we found ourselves instead putting together a series of online discussion sessions for teachers in the breaking days of our online shift. We learned and shared a lot, and now we’re happy to share it with you.

We'll be back next month (we hope!) with a "regular" collection of topical resources. Until then, we hope you safe and well. We are in this together we and are here to support you. 

With hope,
The AdamSmithWorks Education Team

  • Online Teaching Resources and Tips. These tips for Synchronous and Asynchronous class set-up and tips for managing text-based discussions might be a good place to start to navigate the transition to online teaching. 
  • Here are the links to all our previous Educational Resource Collections that unite Adam Smith’s wisdom in primary source readings from Wealth of Nations and Theory of Moral Sentiments to timely topics covered in high school and college Humanities and Social Science courses. 
  •  ASW Lesson Plans. You can always find an ever-evolving collection of original and curated material to help you and your students think more deeply about Adam Smith. But you might be especially interested in our newest one, Toilet Paper Wars, inspired by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • From EconTalk: Tyler Cowen on the Covid-19 Pandemic, and this EconTalkExtra: Quarantine State of Mind. Perhaps an interactive discussion forum for typed responses to questions or creating small “group” conversations among students might help increase the connection many need during this period of physical isolation.



Speaking of Smith

In this Speaking of Smith, Sarah Skwire urges you to  Wash Your Hands. Stop an Earthquake, considering how Adam Smith might react to the social and political call for cleanliness and physical distancing:

"Adam Smith might say that the right thing to ask these people is whether they’re really willing to risk killing their grandparents and their immuno-compromised friends in order to avoid losing their little finger."

Or, as Adam Smith himself says,

“To prevent, therefore, this paltry misfortune to himself, would a man of humanity be willing to sacrifice the lives of a hundred millions of his brethren, provided he had never seen them? Human nature startles with horror at the thought, and the world, in its greatest depravity and corruption, never produced such a villain as could be capable of entertaining it. But what makes this difference? When our passive feelings are almost always so sordid and so selfish, how comes it that our active principles should often be so generous and so noble? When we are always so much more deeply affected by whatever concerns ourselves, than by whatever concerns other men; what is it which prompts the generous, upon all occasions, and the mean upon many, to sacrifice their own interests to the greater interests of others? It is not the soft power of humanity, it is not that feeble spark of benevolence which Nature has lighted up in the human heart, that is thus capable of counteracting the strongest impulses of self-love. It is a stronger power, a more forcible motive, which exerts itself upon such occasions. It is reason, principle, conscience, the inhabitant of the breast, the man within, the great judge and arbiter of our conduct.”  TMS III.3.5

(You might also want to check out this section of our TMS Reading Guide!)

More Timely Speaking of Smith Posts:


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