Inderscience Publishers

Plurality to pluralism in economics pedagogy: the role of critical thinking

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The current financial crisis has prompted a widespread critique of existing conventional economics and deep dissatisfaction with varying aspects regarding the economics profession including teaching techniques. Of course, these criticisms are not new (see Colander and Klamer, 1987; Krueger et al., 1991; Colander, 1998). A reform of teaching practices within economics needs to be pre-requisited on intellectual diversity and a curriculum that is characterised by both plurality and reflexive, critical skills. As an orientation, pluralism is essential for becoming a critical and reflexive thinker. This paper argues that although plurality can be perceived as a first step in achieving pluralism in economics, economists – both mainstream and heterodox – need to go beyond a plurality of perspectives in order to concentrate on developing critical and reflexive skills amongst their students.

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