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How should economics curricula be evaluated?

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  • Andrew Mearman

    () (University of the West of England, Bristol)

Abstract

This paper explores the evaluation of economics curricula. It argues that the dominant approach in economics education, experimentalism, has serious limitations which render it an unsuitable evaluation method in some cases. The arguments against experimentalism are practical, ethical and also rest on a view of the world as a complex, open system in which contexts are unique and generalised regularities are unlikely. In such an environment, as often found in educational contexts, alternative methods are advisable, at least as part of a suite of approaches in a realistic, case-based, mixed-methods approach to evaluation. Thus, economics curricula should be evaluated using a method or set of methods most appropriate to the particular object case. As such, there is no single answer to the question posed.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Mearman, 2013. "How should economics curricula be evaluated?," Working Papers 20131306, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwe:wpaper:20131306
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    File URL: http://www2.uwe.ac.uk/faculties/BBS/BUS/Research/Economics13/1306.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Salvador Contreras & Frank Badua & Mitchell Adrian, 2012. "Peer Effects on Undergraduate Business Student Performance," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 11(1), pages 57-66.
    2. June Lapidus, 2011. "But which theory is right? Economic pluralism, developmental epistemology and uncertainty," International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1), pages 82-95.
    3. 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.
    4. Richard McIntyre & Robert Van Horn, 2011. "Contending perspectives in one department," International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1), pages 69-81.
    5. Cher Ping Lim, 1998. "The Effect of a Computer-Based Learning (CBL) Support Package on the Learning Outcome of Low-Performance Economics Students," Computers in Higher Education Economics Review, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 12(1), pages 19-26.
    6. Siakantaris, Nikos, 2000. "Experimental Economics under the Microscope," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 267-281, May.
    7. Peter Davies & Ross Guest, 2010. "What effect do we really have on students' understanding and attitudes? How do we know?," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 9(1), pages 6-9.
    8. Ruzita Mohd Amin & Mohamed Aslam Haneef, 2011. "The quest for better economics graduates: reviving the pluralist approach in the case of the International Islamic University, Malaysia," International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1), pages 96-113.
    9. Iwan Barankay & Magnus Johannesson & John List & Richard Friberg & Matti Liski & Kjetil Storesletten, 2013. "Guest Editors’ Preface to the Special Symposium on Field Experiments," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(1), pages 1-2, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gruszka, Katarzyna & Scharbert, Annika Regine & Soder, Michael, 2017. "Leaving the mainstream behind? Uncovering subjective understandings of economics instructors' roles," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 485-498.
    2. Gruszka, Katarzyna & Scharbert, Annika Regine & Soder, Michael, 2016. "Changing the world one student at a time? Uncovering subjective understandings of economics instructors' roles," Ecological Economic Papers 4794, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    3. Katarzyna Gruszka & Annika Scharbert & Michael Soder, 2016. "Changing the world one student at a time? Uncovering subjective understandings of economics instructors' roles," Ecological Economics Papers ieep7, Institute of Ecological Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General
    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
    • B5 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments

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