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Changing the Teaching of Economics

GDAE seeks to improve economics education in a variety of ways. In 2014, our researchers participated in several conferences addressing this issue. Below are reports from those conferences. We encourage researchers and instructors to contribute materials on reforming economics teaching by emailing

New Macroeconomics Teaching for a New Era: Instability, Inequality, & Environment
Jonathan M. Harris, October 2014
Conference Paper | Conference PowerPoint | Session Video

Jonathan Harris New Macro Teaching PesentationJonathan Harris gave a keynote presentation at the conference “Inequality and the Future of Capitalism” hosted by the Research Network on Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies (FMM) in Berlin, Germany. More than 300 economists attended the conference, which has a reputation for promoting debate between heterodox and mainstream perspectives. Watch Harris’ presentation (begin at minute 46:30), part of a plenary session on teaching economics after the financial crisis.

Strategies for Changing Economics Teaching
Neva Goodwin, September 2014
Presentation Text

GDAE Co-Director Neva Goodwin presented at the Rethinking Economics Conference in New York City on September 14, 2014. She discussed several strategies to adopt alternative materials and overcome the reluctance to undertake serious revision of course content.

"How to Change the Teaching of Economics"
Neva Goodwin, June 2014
Conference Report | Responses to the Report

"How to Change Economics Teaching"Neva Goodwin moderated a panel on "How to Change the Teaching of Economics" at the CommonBound conference, hosted by the New Economy Coalition in Boston. This panel asked: “Suppose we agree on what should be taught in economics curricula, how can such change be brought about?” The presenters, Helen Scharber, Jigar Bhatt and Keith Harrington, addressed forces that act as barriers against incorporating different content in economics courses, as well as strategic approaches for overcoming these barriers. Dr. Goodwin moderated and prepared this report based on written notes from the panelists and the discussion at the session.  

Other contributed resources:
"Toward a New Chapter in Macroeconomics", Robert Scott Gassler, Professor of Economics (Retired), Vesalius College, April 2016.
We encourage you to submit your own materials. Email us at

For Additional Resources, see our Educational Materials:
Textbooks | Teaching Modules | Social Science Library | Instructor Support

Environmental & Natural Resources Economics TextbookWe provide a variety of classroom-ready materials that can help deepen and broaden the ways in which economics and related disciplines are taught at the undergraduate college level. These include textbooks on the principles of economics and environmental economics and free teaching modules to be used as stand-alone supplements. Scholars in developing countries can take advantage of the Social Science Library. We also provide instructor support through text supplements, working papers, and a book on on teaching critical thinking in high school economics.

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