Peer Pressure: Refereed Journals And Empirical Research In The Undergraduate Economics Curriculum
Sharing with our students what we do as economists and how we do it can augment student learning in fundamental and interrelated ways. In particular, students learn to think like economists; to gain "information literacy;" to explain and synthesize their ideas clearly; and to engage themselves in the learning process. In this paper, I propose a curriculum to teach students how to access, chart and interpret macroeconomic data; to search and access peer-reviewed journal articles; and to formulate, in writing, positions on myriad economic issues, using empirical evidence and the extant academic literature to substantiate their positions. An assessment of the curriculum, which I instituted in fall 2001, demonstrated that students who participated were generally able to determine the extent of information needed to complete an empirical research prompt as well as to access and use the information effectively, efficiently and ethically. Moreover, most students could distinguish between general periodicals and scholarly journals.
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