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Does Pluralism in Economics Education Make Better Educated, Happier Students? A Qualitative Analysis

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  • Andrew Mearman

    ()
    (University of the West of England)

  • Tim Wakeley

    (Griffith University)

  • Gamila Shoib

    (Griffith University)

  • Don J. Webber

    (Auckland University of Technology)

Abstract

This paper contributes to the debate on pluralism in the economics curriculum. Here pluralism means a diversity of theoretical perspectives. One set of pedagogical arguments for pluralism are those found in 'liberal' philosophy of education. To this end, the first part of the paper presents arguments for pluralism based on 'liberal' pedagogical arguments. The paper also notes more instrumental arguments for pluralism and the barriers to such an approach. Finally, the paper considers new primary evidence from focus groups on student perceptions of economics. This evidence shows support for the arguments that a pluralist curriculum is popular and develops cognitive capacities of criticism, comparison and analysis – exactly those argued for in (liberal) pedagogical discussion – as well as judgement, understanding and writing skills. However, pluralism as a teaching strategy may be more difficult for those delivering it.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economics Network, University of Bristol in its journal International Review of Economics Education.

Volume (Year): 10 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 50-62

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Handle: RePEc:che:ireepp:v:10:y:2011:i:2:p:50-62

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Postal: University of Bristol, BS8 1HH, United Kingdom
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Web page: http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/iree

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  1. Dalen, H.P. van, 2007. "Pluralism in economics: A public good or a public bad?," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-347616, Tilburg University.
  2. Budzinski, Oliver, 2007. "Monoculture versus diversity in competition economics," IBES Diskussionsbeiträge 158, University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculty for Economics and Business Administration.
  3. Don J. Webber & Andrew Mearman, 2009. "Students’ perceptions of economics:Identifying demand for further study," Working Papers 0914, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  4. Paul Downward & Andrew Mearman, 2007. "Retroduction as mixed-methods triangulation in economic research: reorienting economics into social science," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(1), pages 77-99, January.
  5. Robert Garnett & Andrew Mearman, 2011. "Contending Perspectives, Twenty Years On: What Have Our Students Learned?," Working Papers 201104, Texas Christian University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrew Mearman & Aspasia Papa & Don J. Webber, 2013. "Why do students study economics?," Working Papers 20131303, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.

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