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Teaching economics. “New Developments In Economic Education”

from Maria Alejandra Madi and the WEA Pedagogy Blog

In 2001 French economics students petitioned their professors for a more realistic and pluralist teaching of economics. Since then, several books have been written on how to teach pluralist economics, including John Groenewegen’s Teaching Pluralism in Economics (Edward Elgar, 2007); Edward Fullbrook’s Pluralist Economics (Zed, 2009) and Jack Reardon’s Handbook of Pluralist Economics Education (Routledge, 2009). A new journal exclusively devoted to discussing how to implement pluralism in the classroom – the International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education – was founded by Jack Reardon. And several global organizations- the World Economic Association, the Association of Heterodox Economics, besides the International Confederation of Associations for Pluralism in Economics, for example – have emphasized the need for changes in economics curriculum.

Considering this background, this blog welcomes all the attempts that emphasize the need for further changes in teaching economics.

The 2014 new title New Developments In Economic Education, edited by Franklin G. Mixon and Richard J. Cebula, offers the opportunity of reflecting on strategies for effectively and efficiently teaching economics at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Among the suggestions . . . read more 

  1. davetaylor1
    January 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    What I find striking is that none of the strategic proposals listed takes account of the use of diagrams for representing and defining the ordering of processes. Economics is not just about symbols (and in practice money) representing things and defining relations, it is about ordered and repetitive (i.e. cyclic) and ordered processes doing things evident and definable only terms of the paths (i.e. channels) between their types of component (i.e. parts). How effectively and efficiently could one teach the workings of a complex dystem (e.g. a television set or computer) without using system and subsystem circuit diagrams?

    • rddulin
      January 24, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      This is an excellent observation. In troubleshooting any kind of system, each specific subsystem is tested to find the fault.
      If the economic profession can continue to divert attention from any specific subsystem by changing the conversation to an alternate subsystem they never are responsible for the total system not working.

      Money, its creation and value determining ability is considered a “black box subsystem” that always discovers an accurate price no matter how it is manipulated. It can never be questioned.

      If money, being the wire that connects all of the other subsystems, like a network cable, distorts and delivers unreliable information, no other system can be tested against another.

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