Mr Mark Austen
Position: Teacher of Economics, Assistant Houseparent
Department: Chatham House,
Qualifications: BA Peterhouse, Cambridge
Telephone: 01280 818426
Life before Stowe
I studied at the University of Cambridge, and then worked with undergraduate Christian unions based in the university before starting at Stowe.
What do you enjoy most about your subject?
Economics is fascinating because it is such a compelling way to view the world. I love using the subject to analyse situations that most people wouldn’t typically think of as economics-related – why do cyclists skip red lights? Why do some pupils hand in their prep consistently on time, while others hand it in late? Economics gives unique approaches to answer these questions, even though there might not be any money involved.
What do you enjoy most about Stowe?
Getting to know the pupils so well in classrooms, in the house and on the sports pitches is easily the best part. I particularly enjoy seeing those penny-drop moments when a student finally understands what’s going on in a topic.
What is your favourite lesson?
I enjoy the challenge of teaching opportunity cost, because it’s the first topic that the Lower Sixth encounter that’s really quite counter-intuitive. It’s the point at which pupils really start to see the unique perspective that economics has on the world – and that it can be quite conceptually challenging!
What do others say about you?
I hope that I’m an optimist, good at my subjects, and someone who has a real personal investment in each of his pupils. That’s what I’m aiming for.
As well as economics and maths, I am involved in the school CCF, hockey coaching, debating competitions and Crossfire, the school’s informal weekly Christian meeting.
Mountaineering, hillwalking, cycling, running, kayaking, and my Christian faith.