Teaching Economics to Undergraduates


Teaching Economics to Undergraduates

Alternatives to Chalk and Talk

9781840642704 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by William E. Becker, Professor of Economics, Indiana University, Bloomington, US, Adjunct Professor, School of Commerce, University of South Australia and Editor, Journal of Economic Education and Editor, Economic Research Network Educator and the late Michael Watts, formerly Professor of Economics and Director, Center for Economic Education, Purdue University, US and Associate Editor, Journal of Economic Education With a Foreword by the late William J. Baumol
Publication Date: 2000 ISBN: 978 1 84064 270 4 Extent: 296 pp
This book demonstrates alternatives to the lecture and chalkboard approach that dominates the teaching of economics, providing a range of innovative teaching techniques and examples aimed at engaging undergraduates in the learning of economics.

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This book demonstrates alternatives to the lecture and chalkboard approach that dominates the teaching of economics, providing a range of innovative teaching techniques and examples aimed at engaging undergraduates in the learning of economics.

The editors provide a brief history of the teaching of economics in higher education, as well as a review of current undergraduate teaching practices. Some of the field’s leading educators then demonstrate alternative practices in three main sections: ‘Active and Cooperative Learning’, ‘Writing, the Internet, and Discovery Through Sampling’, and ‘Examples from the World Around Us’. The topics in the twelve chapters of the book have been carefully selected based on their high potential for adoption by other instructors. Detailed, ‘hands-on’ examples are included within each chapter, illustrating how suggested approaches can be used in different courses and classroom situations at the undergraduate level. Also included are lists of ‘Dos’ and ‘Dont’s’ to guide instructors through the successful implementation of activities.

This book will be of great practical value to teachers of economics as well as administrators responsible for undergraduate instruction.
Critical Acclaim
‘Teaching Economics to Undergraduates deserves a prominent spot on the bookshelves of all economists who are interested in improving the effectiveness of their teaching, especially those with important undergraduate teaching responsibilities. Following an introductory essay, 11 chapters provide very specific ideas of new ways to structure one’s teaching. Each chapter also contains a useful list of "dos and don’ts" that add to their effectiveness.’
– Craig Swan, Journal of Economic Education

‘It should prove most helpful and beneficial to anyone who has a desire to be more innovative in the way he or she teaches economics to undergraduates, for this reason I give this book an enthusiastic thumbs up! . . . I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone contemplating changing his or
her style of teaching undergraduate economics.’
– Richard J. Torz, Eastern Economic Journal

‘Almost every instructor reading this book will gain some valuable, low-cost, new ideas to supplement their courses.’
– R.M. Whaples, Choice

‘The editors and authors are outstanding teachers who have thought a great deal about how to make economics accessible to students with a wide range of learning styles. This systematic treatment of the subject will be extremely valuable for those who want to make their classrooms creative learning laboratories and for those who are trying to develop effective teaching and learning tools. I heartily recommend this work to all serious teachers of economics.’
– Michael Parkin, University of Western Ontario, Canada

‘The volume will provide two types of assistance to the teachers of economics to undergraduates. First, it will offer novel approaches that can enliven the process and increase the effectiveness with which knowledge and analytic skills can be imparted to the student. Second, it can stimulate the thought of the instructors themselves about the logic that should guide their teaching process. . . . It is a substantial contribution to the teaching of economics as well as to the pertinent research.’
– From the foreword by William J. Baumol

‘Recent years have witnessed a decline in the numbers of students studying economics in colleges and universities, not just in the USA but all over Europe. Some say that this is the result of the kind of subject economics has become: excessively technical, ever more mathematical. Perhaps so but in that case, it is even more important than ever to teach economics better, more effectively, more interestingly. Here is a book that looks critically at different ways of achieving that. It represents a substantial contribution to economics education.’
– The late Mark Blaug, formerly of the University of London and University of Buckingham, UK
Contributors: R.L. Bartlett, W.J. Baumol, W.E. Becker, S. Buckles, W.L. Hansen, P. Kennedy, M.J. Lage, C. Noussair, A.R. Sanderson, J.J. Siegfried, K. Sosin, M. Treglia, J. Walker, M. Watts, W.J. Zahka
Contents: Foreword by William J. Baumol 1. Teaching Economics: What Was, Is, and Could Be Part I: Active and Cooperative Learning 2. Making Cooperative Learning Work in Economics Classes 3. Gender and Active Learning 4. Student Decision Making as Active Learning Part II: Writing, the Internet, and Discovery Through Sampling 5. Integrating the Practice of Writing Into Economics Instruction 6. Using the Internet and Computer Technology to Teach Economics 7. Using Monte Carlo Studies for Teaching Econometrics Part III: Examples from the World Around Us 8. Using Sports to Teach Economics 9. Using Literature and Drama in Undergraduate Economics Courses 10. Acceptance Speeches by the Nobel Laureates in Economics 11. Using Cases as an Effective Active Learning Technique 12. Engaging Students in Quantitative Analysis with the Academic and Popular Press
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