Why do Students Study Economics?
This paper presents a chronological, adaptive and reflective investigation into students' perceptions of and motivations for choosing to study economics. Applications of multiple quantitative and qualitative techniques to student-level primary survey and focus group data reveal the following. First, students' perceptions of economics are on average somewhat negative, although there is considerable variation. Second, they regard economics as having value, in terms of providing insight, specialist knowledge, and skills of argumentation (all of which are perceived to be superior to peers). Third, they recognise the subject yields financial and other career advantages and has kudos. Fourth, they suggest that the relevance and usefulness of economics is important and consequently that excessive theorisation and a lack of practicality are problematic. These findings have considerable implications for how economics is taught, and for the nature of the subject itself.
Volume (Year): 19 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
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