Teaching (un)sustainability? University sustainability commitments and student experiences of introductory economics
AbstractThe three largest public universities in British Columbia, Canada have signed the Talloires Declaration, committing themselves to promoting sustainability and creating expectations that they will integrate sustainability across the curriculum in order to improve students' environmental literacy and stewardship. About 40% of North American university students take a mainstream introductory economics course; few of these students take economics at more advanced levels. As such, introductory economics courses are an important vehicle for students to learn economic theory; they have the potential to contribute to the knowledge that students can mobilize to foster sustainability. Interviews were held with 54 students who had recently completed an introductory level mainstream economics course at one of the three universities. Students reported that introductory economics courses place little emphasis on the environment and sustainability, they recalled course content with normative connotations that are problematic from a sustainability perspective and they described how discussion of the limitations of mainstream theory was set aside. Student reports of the insights introductory economics offers into environmental problems imply that these courses are failing to substantively increase students' understanding of sustainability and linkages between the environment and the economy. Findings suggest that current introductory economics curriculum undermines the universities' sustainability commitments.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.
Volume (Year): 94 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon
Economics education; University; Sustainability commitment; Student;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Daly, Herman E., 1995. "On Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's contributions to economics: an obituary essay," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 149-154, June.
- Clive L. Spash & Anthony Ryan, 2012. "Economic Schools of Thought on the Environment: Investigating Unity and Division," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(5), pages 1091-1121.
- David Colander, 2003. "Integrating Sex and Drugs into the Principles Course: Market-Failures Versus Failures-of-Market Outcomes," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 82-91, January.
- David Colander, 2000. "Telling Better Stories in Introductory Macro," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 76-80, May.
- Jack Reardon, 2007. "How green are principles texts? An investigation into how mainstream economics educates students pertaining to energy, the environment and green economics," International Journal of Green Economics, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(3/4), pages 381-393.
- Illge, Lydia & Schwarze, Reimund, 2009. "A matter of opinion--How ecological and neoclassical environmental economists and think about sustainability and economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 594-604, January.
- Robin L. Bartlett & Marianne A. Ferber & Carole A. Green, 2009. "Political Orientation and the Decision to Major in Economics: Some Preliminary Observations," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 8(1), pages 13-31.
- John J. Siegfried & Michael K. Salemi, 1999. "The State of Economic Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 355-361, May.
- Stephen graham Saunders, 2008. "Toward Bridging The Gap Between Theory And Empirical Reality," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(4), pages 738-748, December.
- Paul Ormerod, 2003. "Turning the Tide: Bringing Economics Teaching into the Twenty First Century," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 1(1), pages 71-79.
- William E. Becker & Michael Watts, 2001. "Teaching Economics at the Start of the 21st Century: Still Chalk-and-Talk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 446-451, May.
- Tom L. Green, 2012. "Introductory economics textbooks: what do they teach about sustainability?," International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(2), pages 189-223.
- J. E. King & Alex Millmow, 2003. "Death of a Revolutionary Textbook," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 105-134, Spring.
- Faravelli, Marco, 2007.
"How context matters: A survey based experiment on distributive justice,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1399-1422, August.
- Marco Faravelli, 2006. "How Context Matters: A Survey Based Experiment on Distributive Justice," ESE Discussion Papers 145, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
- Gowdy, John, 2005. "Toward a new welfare economics for sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 211-222, April.
- David Colander, 2005. "What Economists Teach and What Economists Do," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(3), pages 249-260, July.
- John M. Gowdy, 2003.
"The Revolution in Welfare Economics and its Implications for Environmental Valuation and Policy,"
Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics
0315, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
- John M. Gowdy, 2004. "The Revolution in Welfare Economics and Its Implications for Environmental Valuation and Policy," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 80(2), pages 239-257.
- Steve Keen, 2011. "Debunking Macroeconomics," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 41(3), pages 147-168, December.
- David K. Round & Martin P. Shanahan, 2010. "The Economics Degree in Australia: Down but Not Out?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(4), pages 425-435, September.
- Mark Skousen, 1997. "The Perseverance of Paul Samuelson's Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 137-152, Spring.
- William B. Walstad & Ken Rebeck, 2008. "The Test of Understanding of College Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 547-51, May.
- Becker, William E., 2004. "Good-byE old, hello new in teaching economics," Australasian Journal of Economics Education (AJEE), University of Queensland, School of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 5-17, March.
- Bromley, Daniel W., 1998. "Searching for sustainability: The poverty of spontaneous order," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 231-240, February.
- William E. Becker, 2000. "Teaching Economics in the 21st Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 109-119, Winter.
- Cipriani, Giam Pietro & Lubian, Diego & Zago, Angelo, 2009. "Natural born economists?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 455-468, June.
- Becker, William E., 2007. "Quit lying and address the controversies: there are no dogmata, laws, rules or standards in the science of economics," MPRA Paper 39958, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Menzel, Susanne, 2013. "Are emotions to blame? — The impact of non-analytical information processing on decision-making and implications for fostering sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 71-78.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.