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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 and a request for your thoughts on the subject. Please take a moment to complete the survey below.

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” sponsored by the Research Network on Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies (FMM) in Berlin, Germany on October 31, 2014. This conference, the largest of its type in Europe, was attended by more than 300 economists, and has a well-established reputation of promoting debate between heterodox perspectives and more mainstream approaches. Watch Harris’ presentation (begins at minute 46:30), which was part of a plenary session on the teaching of economics following 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"In June 2014, GDAE Co-Director 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 did not prescribe exactly what should be done to improve the curriculum. Instead it asked: “Suppose we agree on what should be taught in economics curricula, how can such change be brought about?” The session focused on the forces that now act as barriers against incorporating different content in economics courses, as well as strategic approaches for overcoming these barriers. The presenters on the panel were Helen Scharber, Jigar Bhatt and Keith Harrington. Neva Goodwin moderated the panel and prepared this report, based on written notes from the panelists, as well as the discussion at the session. 

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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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