ERIC Number: ED108544
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973-Dec
Reference Count: 0
An Economic Theory of Learning: Student Sovereignty and Academic Freedom. Final Report.
Staff, Robert J.; McKenzie, Richard B.
This document applies the tools of economics (consumer choice theory, wage theory, and collective choice) to develop an economic theory of learning. It examines the choice process of acquiring knowledge. The choice of one program (physics) over others (history, math) is clearly important in that physics knowledge and history knowledge cannot be considered as perfect substitutes in either a utility or production sense. Unlike conventional studies in the economics of education, the authors examine the ground between empirical demand studies for education and the studies that assume knowledge embodiment (human capital). Thus, student and faculty choice is examined that is internal to a university. Some questions considered are: What are the impacts of different student aptitudes on curricular choice and the decision to switch majors? What effects do student evaluations and varied grading schemes have on the learning process? Why do educational innovations appear to be ineffective? What are the choice implications of academic freedom? What are the causes and effects of grade inflation? Can faculty performance be evaluated? A variety of evidence is used to support models of student and faculty choice. However, the main thrust of this document is in developing a theory of learning based on economics and public choice. (Author/KE)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Aptitude, Curriculum, Decision Making, Economic Research, Educational Demand, Educational Economics, Faculty Evaluation, Grading, Higher Education, Humanistic Education, Innovation, Learning Theories, Majors (Students), Public Opinion, Public Policy, Student Evaluation
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg.