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Economic History in Action: Students Debating the Roots of Modern Dilemmas Historical Studies www.le.ac.uk Professor Steven King Presented to: Promoting.

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Presentation on theme: "Economic History in Action: Students Debating the Roots of Modern Dilemmas Historical Studies www.le.ac.uk Professor Steven King Presented to: Promoting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Economic History in Action: Students Debating the Roots of Modern Dilemmas Historical Studies Professor Steven King Presented to: Promoting Engagement with the Teaching of Economic History 22 March 2012, Oxford Brookes University

2 The challenge Folding of an economic and social history department into a wider unit. Gradual loss of economic history staffing. The impact of legacy courses, particularly in formal quantitative methods.

3 The context for a solution Day one year one matters. Chimney pots and cuddliness. Pathways. Career links: How to make £1 million with a history degree. The need for something distinctive.

4 HS2342: Economic History in Action The pensions dilemma The future of the National Health Service British energy policy Personal debt and (over) consumption The credit crunch British membership of the EU The rise of the BRICS Immigration British trading relationships Gordon Brown

5 HS2342: Economic History in Action Group A will argue for the proposition that The British state pension system has always contained the seeds of its own destruction. Group B will argue for the proposition that The British state pension system has been ruined by political ineptitude and the selfishness of the 1960s Baby Boomers.

6 HS2342: Economic History in Action Group A will argue for the proposition that The British have a long ingrained tendency to personal debt and over- consumption. Group B will argue for the proposition that Debt and over- consumption is a product of government policies of the last thirty years.

7 HS2342: Economic History in Action Training in how to formulate a case. Facebook and Dropbox. Dealing with the shy or socially challenged. Recording and circulating debates. Dealing with sheer anger – better to have two moderators than one.

8 HS2342: Economic History in Action Assessment: Two individual debate write- ups. What did both groups argue and, based upon the two arguments, the questioning and your subsequent reading, what are the lessons of history for responses to the modern economic and policy dilemmas that we have addressed?

9 HS2342: Lessons Group sizes of equate to sub-groups of This is the minimum number required to run the course. HS2342 requires substantial independent and group work outside the confines of the course. This notwithstanding it is a very popular vehicle. Students with little numerical background really come to understand ONS and BIS reports and statistical trends.

10 HS2342: Lessons Mean marks are 20% higher than those in Historical Studies as a whole and students generally gain 15-30% higher marks than their GPA going into the course. Blackboard and VLE are inconvenient electronic vehicles. Students tend to use outside solutions. External examiners are poorly equipped to deal with the intent and outcomes of this course. Broadly defined economic history dissertations have reached new peaks in every year since the course was launched.

11 HS2342: Lessons Students often become highly politicised. On one occasion I was accused of turning someones son into a raving Tory. Gender does not matter in terms of contribution or assessment. It is better to have Erasmus students as part of the cohort.

12 The Future Recruiting more staff: The importance of NSS and careers for economic historians. Making the course more interdisciplinary. Blogs and public performance.


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