Welcome to our pluralistic platform of perspectives-sharing. We aim to facilitate inclusive debates and opinion-formation on economic and social matters. We focus particularly on what and how we teach in economics from a real-world outlook, and on the various angles through which we can describe and think about the relationship between socio-economic phenomena. This blog is an informal space where pedagogical experiences from real-world perspectives are shared in order to promote a collaborative platform.

As we consider a learning process to be an on-going endeavor, we see ourselves to be life-long students. With an attitude of humility, we acknowledge that we accumulate knowledge and learn all the time, and this process may lead at times to challenging our received concepts and wisdom. For this reason, this Blog is an experimental laboratory of ideas in theory and applied fields. We are tuned to innovative insights, and to enhancing the development of novel technological experiences and strategies in Economics education.

History of the WEA Pedagogy Blog

WEA Pedagogy Blog was founded in 2011 by Edward Fullbrook, who invited Jack Reardon (U.S.) to compose the co-editors team that included Asad Zaman (Pakistan) and Maria Alejandra Madi (Brazil). The Blog was designed as an informal space where pedagogical experiences from a real-world perspective could be spread in order to promote a collaborative platform. New perspectives regarding knowledge, abilities and attitudes are always present in a significant learning process where the target is the students’ intellectual autonomy characterized by the development of a solid reflection-base to think and a critical attitude towards the political, economic and social reality where he lives.

A new release of the WEA Pedadogy Blog

After 6 years of tradition, and with over 400 regular readers, the Editorial Team is transforming. Maria Alejandra Madi, with the new co-editor Małgorzata Dereniowska (Poland) joining the team, takes off with some innovations.

The current Editorial Team, led by Edward Fullbrook, has Asad Zaman as its member and contributor, and besides plans to expand the group of regular contributors. Ioana Negru (UK) is the first one to join us!

Along with the renewed Editorial Team, novelties to the blog thematic are introduced.

We are expanding with the multi-perspectives on economics as it is taught, and on the new research approaches and contributions to the field. We are also engaging with some societal questions that are relevant for economics and its teaching.

The WEA Pedagogy Blog “Perspectives on Economics & Society” will also host two new formats that foster debate in a pluralistic and dialogic spirit: a Thematic Forum and a series of interviews. The Thematic Forum will undertake a specific question twice a year, soliciting contributors to reflect on the many perspectives on it. The series of interviews will reflect on economics education, pedagogy, and the cutting-edge ideas worth sharing.

In addition to these innovations, a new section called Miscellaneous will include posts on diverse topics at the intersection of economics and society, and interesting syllabuses for enhancing a pluralistic economics education.

With the new changes, we hope to make this platform even more active and interactive!

Editorial Team

Maria Alejandra Madi holds a MA in Philosophy and a PhD in Economics (UNICAMP, Brazil). She is Chair of the World Economics Association Conferences Programme and co-editor of the WEA Pedagogy Blog. Currently, she is also Assistant Editor of the International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education and VP of the Ordem dos Economistas do Brasil. In addition to a long-term professorship at UNICAMP, Brazil (1983- 2013), her career includes visiting professorships at the University of Manitoba (2008) and the University of Kassel (2010). More recently she co-edited some of the WEA books: The economics curriculum: toward a radical reformulation, Ideas toward a new international financial architecture? and Capital and Justice. She also co-edited some of the Green Economic Institute books: The Greening of Global Finance, besides Value, Valuation, Valuing and Green Investment, Green Economy & Green Finance. Her recent authored books include Global finance and Development; Small Business in Brazil: competitive global challenges and Pluralist Readings in economics: key concepts and policy tools for the 21st century. Her recent co-authored book is Introducing a new Economics: Progressive, Pluralist, Sustainable (Pluto, 2017)

Małgorzata Dereniowska holds a PhD in Philosophy, MA in Social Communication, and BSc in Ecology from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznań, Poland); is the member of the World Economics Association Conferences Planning and Organization Committee, co-editor of special issues for Ethics in Progress and International Journal of Sustainable Development, and co-author of Positional Analysis for Sustainable Development: Reconsidering Economics, Policy and Accounting with Judy Brown and Peter Söderbaum (Routledge 2017). She serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education and Environment, Space, Place. She has written on a variety of topics in ethics, environmental thought, normative aspects of economics, and sustainable development.

Asad Zaman [BS Math MIT (1974), Ph.D. Econ Stanford (1978)] has taught at leading universities like Columbia, U. Penn., Johns Hopkins, Cal. Tech. and Bilkent University, Ankara. Currently he is Vice Chancellor of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. His textbook Statistical Foundations of Econometric Techniques (Academic Press, NY, 1996) is widely used as a reference in advanced graduate courses. He is managing editor of International Econometric Review and Pakistan Development Review. His research on Islamic economics is widely cited, and has been highly influential in shaping the field. His publications in top ranked journals like Annals of Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory, Journal of Labor Economics, etc. have more than a thousand citations as per Google Scholar. For more information, see the About-Me section on his personal website, asadzaman.net

Ioana Negru is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies with a research focus on Economic Methodology, Institutional Economics, Austrian Economics and Heterodox Economics. As a member of the Post-Keynesian Economics Study Group, a Committee Member of the Association for Heterodox Economics and a contributor to the Reteaching Economics movement, she promotes pluralism in economics.

Jake McMurchie, webmaster and technical support

  1. ABOUT

    This blog is about pedagogical issues on how and what we teach in economics from a real-world perspective. The target of economics education is the comprehension of reality in its economic dimensions, that is to say, the understanding of values, ideas and practices that support the reproduction of material life. Economics education needs to face a reality where the evolution of economic forces is historically shaped by the social dimension of the markets and the political nature of society. In particular, economic and social challenges, like poverty and inequality, demand the apprehension of the boundaries of economics as a particular knowledge oriented to development issues.

    Economics teaching in the 21st century presupposes a great heterogeneity between national economic structures, institutions and social outcomes of the capital accumulation process. In this setting, real-world institutions are overwhelmed by tensions, contradictions and forces of resistance that restrict the universality of economic laws. In truth, this understanding supports an emphasis on the historical dimensions of economic analysis. The ability of the economist to deal with “mankind and the ordinary events business of life”- recalling Marshall- shapes the possibilities of observation, analysis and interpretation of the social and economic challenges for further policy intervention.

    This blog is an informal space where pedagogical experiences from a real-world perspective could be spread in order to promote a collaborative platform. New perspectives regarding knowledge, abilities and attitudes are always present in a significant learning process where the target is the students’ intellectual autonomy characterized by the development of a solid reflection-base to think and a critical attitude towards the political, economic and social reality where he lives.

    Posts on the didactics in theory or applied fields, the changing conceptions of the learning process, the innovative contents of disciplines, besides the construction of innovative technological experiences and strategies in economics education are particularly welcome.

    Maria Alejandra Madi

  2. Asad Zaman said:

    Definitely, Maria has said roughly the same thing as I have but in a much smoother and less confrontational manner. This has its virtues and disadvantages. My statement is likely to turn off those who are under the clutches of neoclassical, and perhaps we will have blog which preaches to the already converted.

    However, I dont see the blog as performing a conversion function. I dont want to see arguments and debates.I want to see tools and strategies being used by those who are working on the same goals — making a revolution in the teaching of economics.

    Thus we have two distinct options, and I think we should discuss and decide on one of the two — it will make a huge difference:

    option A: (MARIA option): Keep the blog open to all, heterodox, orthodox, and hope to gently persuade readers to come over to a revolutionary outlook. Thus we will welcome good pedagogical approaches to teaching orthodox micro flavored with a little behavioral, and other mild dissents from mainstream.

    option B (Asad option) — in fact I do favor this option. Keep this blog for a narrow circle of people who are already fully on board with making a revolution. Discuss and exchange stories on how we can create more revolutionaries. We have a narrow readership and membership, but more concentrated strategy decisions — the inner war council, you might say.

    Discussion and Votes?

  3. Hi everyone!

    A spirited debate on the reformation of economics education is welcomed and necessary. I am thrilled to participate in it. The key word is education: we need to educate our students and the public, rather than proselytize, which unfortunately is too often the modus operandi of neoclassical economics. Proselytization is little differnet from bullying and no better example of this was written by Edward Fullbrook as a chapter in my book (Handbook of Pluralist Economics Education) and has circulated on the internet. Education is our most endeavor as human beings: t is absolutely necessary for ourselves, our planet and the future generation.

    While I think we are agree on the need to educate rather than proselytize, a much more difficult question is what is education and what does it mean to educate? And a related question is what should we be teaching our students. To answer the first question, I believe the key to education is to foster doubt about exisitng institutions- why are they structured as is? Who benefits? Where is the locus of power? Can the exisitng situation be improved for all rather than the select few? Another key in education is to foster humility and respect for other views. This doesn’t mean we must agree with everyone; on the contrary, disagreement (and doubt) is necessary for the advancement of knowledge.

    The goal of reforming economics education is too important to exclude either specific beliefs or a specific modus operandi. We should welcome all suggestions, and all blueprints for change, from the barely nudging to the radical reformation. A pluralist tent for reforming economics education should be broad enough to harbor all views. To exclude any one veiw is to mirror the myopic and self-deating practice of neoclassical economics.

    We have much to learn from each other and I don’t want to limit my own learning by restricting who I can dialogue with. I view the above distinction as artificial and counter-productive. Instead I view the comments as different degrees of the same objective: the reformation of economics education.

  4. As an economics student, I agree completely. The way in which economics is taught is deeply flawed. Some of the most important issues are ignored or barely discussed, while what we do study is barely relevant. Fundamental change is desperately needed.

  5. Jeff Z said:

    So, last semester I had a good experience that I wanted to share. This blog seemed like a good place to do it, but it is not at all clear how one would go ahead and submit a blog entry as opposed to a comment on an existing entry. Could you clarify the procedure for this? Thank you!

    • Maria Alejandra Madi said:

      Thanks for your interest in the blog. You can send your contribution to me (alejandra_madi@yahoo.com.br) and I will post it in the blog.


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