Dealing with a professor who’s hostile puts you in a tricky spot considering he or she is going to judge your classwork and grade you.

Matthew La Corte of Students for Liberty offers 8 tips for dealing with the situation.

Well, it’s that time again! School is back and the new semester is here! For all students, specifically freshman, here is your chance to drop the plethora of economic knowledge you have been accumulating this summer. It is now the time to shine and bring the discussion of free markets into largely interventionist-orientated classes. We have all been there: staying up to 3am reading some economics book from Hayek, Mises, or starting with Hazlitt, Bastiat, or Paul.

You read the book and understand the material, even remembering specific quotes that hammer the beauty of free markets in one concise line.  The next day you walk into economics 101 with Professor Keynesian and get the classic tax-and-spend line. Your eyes light up as you know it’s time to stand tall as a free-market philosopher in a barren land of interventionists. It is time to show why the professor has the story wrong and why your fellow classmates should listen to you. It is time to begin paving your own path on the road to the market!  Here are some tips for effectively debating for markets in economics, politics, and other classes.

1. Speak Your Mind

Questioning a professor and having a back-and-forth dialogue on certain issues is extremely beneficial to personal growth. Nothing helps a student realize whether he or she know a topic better than trying to defend it. Students should challenge themselves to step outside their comfort zone and defend the free markets when their professors spew interventionist rhetoric onto unassuming students. College should be all about questioning intellectual authority, coming to one’s own opinions, and finding a personal track. It is a brave and just thing to speak your mind and contrast the professor’s viewpoints. Are you nervous about being questioned and put on the spot? Merely ask strategic questions in an inquisitive manner. If the professor is talking about Keynes’ contributions to economic thought, remark that you’ve heard he was contrasted by “some guy named Hayek.” You don’t need to provide the Hayek lesson; just provide the spark and the match for the professor to light. Put the professor on their toes to bring up libertarians and market solutions.

2. Discover the Professor’s Approach

Many students are fearful of taking on the professor because they think the difference in opinion will be reflected in their grades. The best way to avoid this is asking past students who took that professor. Word of mouth regarding reputation or does a great job in filtering out who will be responsive to debate and who will not appreciate new opinions.  Always do your homework on your professors.

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