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Dirk Mateer

Dirk Mateer earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Florida State University in 1991. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Arizona. He is the author of Economics in the Movies (South-Western, 2005). He uses a variety of methods (film clips, music videos, songs, demonstrations, group work, and other active learning processes) to stimulate students to think about economics. As a result, Dr. Mateer's teaching efforts have been recognized by his students, colleagues, and nationally on over twenty occasions. He was the winner of the inaugural Economic Communicator Contest sponsored by the Association of Private Enterprise Education and the Market-Based Management Institute. Prior to joining Penn State, he taught high school mathematics and science for two years and then worked at Goucher College (Md.) and Grove City College (Pa.).

At Penn State, his primary responsibility is to teach large lecture classes. He believes that effective communication is a conversation. As a result, he teaches economics in as many ways as possible by involving students in the discovery process. This is a challenge in classes of over 700 students.

In 2005, he authored Economics in the Movies, a supplement for the principles market. He uses short 2-4 minute film clips to create a common platform for introducing and learning about economics. More recently, he established an online database of movie scenes appropriate for teaching economics. You can visit a separate, but related, web site at This site has 80 film references to economics.

In 2006, Mateer along with Andrew Rice created a website dedicated to teaching economics through music:

You can view teaching segments at, including an 8-minute teaching segment that helped him win the inaugural Economic Communicator Contest.

In 2008, he has begun the process of writing a textbook for the principles of economics market. All of the endeavors that were mentioned here were incubated at Florida State University. He says, "Jim Gwartney, and the other Economics Faculty, impressed upon me their collective passion for teaching, researching and living economics."