Home > Economics Curriculum, students > Launch of the WEA Textbook Commentaries Project

Launch of the WEA Textbook Commentaries Project

An email this morning from Stuart Birks

This is a brief update on progress with the World Economics Association Textbook Commentaries Project. . . .

The current state of play is as follows. The October issue of the WEA Newsletter has just been made available on the web. Details will be circulated to WEA members shortly. The issue contains an announcement about the project and some other related pieces. It could perhaps be considered as a formal launch of the project to the wider community.

The Newsletter pdf is at: http://www.worldeconomicsassociation.org/files/newsletter/Issue-4-5.pdf

The article on the project is also available at: http://www.worldeconomicsassociation.org/newsletterarticles/wea-tcp

In addition, I have just presented a paper in Buenos Aires explaining some of the background to and reasoning behind the project. The paper is available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2515373. I will be giving similar talks elsewhere in the next few weeks. I’ll be in the UK in late November-early December and could fit in one or two additional talks if there is interest.

The success of the project depends on the quality of the material provided and the extent to which it is used. It has been encouraging to see how willing people have been to make their writing available as well as to contribute directly. More commentaries are needed, including alternative ones to supplement or contrast with existing material. Note that the main objective for the WEA is to provide a platform that can be used by others. It is independent from any specific publisher or school of thought. 

The commentaries can provide an effective channel to direct students to a wide range of accessible literature covering a broad spectrum of views. There is also the possibility that commentaries will be compiled in groups that allow one or more chosen additional perspectives (historical, institutional, political economy, etc.) to be added to conventional courses.

Your contributions are most welcome. They will contain clear recognition of authorship and, if available, links to or details of relevant publications.

A major aspect to consider for the success of the project is the support that might be given by students, and in particular the student protest movement. It only takes one person (lecturer, tutor or student) to add a link to a course page or discussion forum, or to mention a commentary in a lecture or tutorial. If points are used in several courses, they can become accepted as part of the standard discourse. The platform offers two-way communication. Adding comments to existing commentaries is an additional option and this can also encourage further participation by others. The first step in all this is to spread the word and to build up some momentum.

We hope to make progress in both development and use of the material in the coming months. You are invited to play an active part of this exercise.

Best wishes,

Stuart

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