In 2011, Edward Fullbrook, writing on Toxic Textbooks, pointed out that “No discipline has ever experienced systemic failure on the scale that economics has today”. And added that the global financial crisis revealed that “..we, the textbooks we use, and the courses that we teach harbour fundamental misconceptions about the way economies, most especially their markets, function” (http://ineteconomics.org/blog/inet/edward-fullbrook-toxic-textbooks).
Economics pedagogy is a starting point for both an analysis of the roots of the global financial crisis and of the challenges to how it might be made a facilitator of social justice. After the global crisis, Fullbrook suggests to rethink economics pedagogy taking into account “eleven ways to think like a post-crash economist”
1. Don’t try to pass yourself off as a kissing cousin of natural scientists.
2. Don’t speak, except to very small children, of invisible hands and magic.
3. When possible avoid the use of emotive words.
4. Remind yourself every morning that your duty as a teacher is to educate your students, not indoctrinate them.
5. Try to look at economic phenomena from different points of view and teach your students to do the same.
6. Encourage diversity of conceptual frameworks in economic research.
7. Don’t be condescending to your students.
8. Keep your eye on real-world economies rather than imaginary ones.
9. Don’t try to hide the troubled but fascinating history and contemporary diversity of economics from your students and the general public.
10. Avoid cranks and try to avoid becoming one yourself.
11. Never try to pass off ideology as objective truth.
Indeed, the importance of economics teaching is at the center of the new World Economics Association online platform for commentaries and discussion of standard introductory level textbooks, plus links to related resources. It can be accessed via:
In otther words, the World Economics Association’s Textbook Commentaries Project seeks to provide a platform for independent, inclusive, participatory enrichment of economics courses. The project certainly aims to increase the influence of alternative and critical material to promote radical changes in economics education.
More project background details
Download WEA newsletter Volume 4, Issue No. 5, October 2014