Presentation on theme: "Teaching economics to non-economists Anthony Plumridge University of the West of England, Bristol First degree in economics, sociology and politics, second."— Presentation transcript:
Teaching economics to non-economists Anthony Plumridge University of the West of England, Bristol First degree in economics, sociology and politics, second degree in architecture, planning and environmental studies Early career in marketing and strategic management, ran three small businesses, entered academic life in 1989 A belief in the vocational value of the rigorous analytical skills of economics Necessary to demonstrate the potency of economic analysis in a relevant context
Modules taught include The Market Environment to Business Systems students Construction Economics to Building Studies students Economics of the Legal System to LlB students Housing and Property Economics to Joint Honours students Environmental economics to Environmental Management students Economics of Tourism to Business and Tourism students European Economics to European Languages students Tourism in Local Economic Development to MA Sustainable Tourism students Outreach activities Delivered ESF funded programme of business economics training to 90 SMEs 1999 – 2001 Provided Professional Development training to stockbrokers, solicitors and Trading Standards Officers Teaching economics to non-economists
Teaching economics to non-economists - contexts Various contexts exist in which economics is taught as a subsidiary subject, each posing particular difficulties: as a half degree combined with a wide range of other half degrees (42 at UWE) as part of a joint honours programme - e.g. economics and media studies (some 200 students take economics as a half degree at UWE). problem: the two half degrees are taught in isolation, interdisciplinary material is ignored, students often not grouped according to discipline combination and can feel isolated.
Teaching economics to non-economists - contexts as core component of a degree in another discipline problem: a critical mass of basic economic theory needs to be included and a number of key threshold concepts fully understood; resource constraints mean there may be insufficient time to explore relevant contexts, applications or interdisciplinary material
Teaching economics to non-economists - contexts as an option on a degree in another discipline problem: as above with added complication that often the module is offered to students on a number of disparate degree courses
Teaching economics to non-economists THE LEAST DESIRABLE RESOURCE-DRIVEN SOLUTION: Teach the same introductory economics module irrespective of the context or other disciplines studied. WAYS OFIMPROVING ON THIS: Administrative solution Allocate students to seminar/tutorial groups according to other discipline studied: appropriate contexts and interdisciplinary material can then be covered.
Teaching economics to non-economists Assessment solution Use mini-project style assignments allowing students to choose appropriate interdisciplinary topics. Resource economising solutions Support teaching of basic principles with self-directed learning material such as interactive software.