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ERIC Number: EJ903896
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-1443-1475
Addressing the Problem of Service Teaching Introductory Economics Subjects
Barrett, Steven
International Education Journal, v5 n5 p152-165 2005
Enrolments in undergraduate economics programs have been falling constantly since the early 1990s. This trend coincides with the increasing popularity of business and management degrees. Consequently, the major activity of many, if not most economics departments and schools in Australia is service teaching of introductory economics to first year business and management students. Such service teaching activities usually involve offering a conventional principles of macroeconomics subject and a conventional principles of microeconomics subject to business and management students. It is argued here that the conventional first year offerings do not meet the needs of the majority of the students taking these subjects. A review of the economics education literature has identified a number of strategies that have been proposed to increase the level of engagement of first year economics students. However, this article argues that these strategies are not considered to be appropriate for the challenge facing most Australian economics departments that are primarily teaching non-economics majors. The aim of this article is to propose an alternative framework that would allow economics departments to perform more effective and relevant service teaching activities. It is argued that current principles of economics subjects largely ignore two important institutions, in addition to markets, that societies use to answer the economic question, the government sector and the household sector. It is further argued that a principles of economics subject that places appropriate emphasis on a broader set of institutions should not just teach first year students about key economic theories, but it should also provide them with an understanding of how real economies work. This is a goal that is relevant for students undertaking either an economics degree or a business degree. The final section of the article provides a brief overview of how a principles of economics offering based on a broader institutional approach might differ from a traditional principles course. (Contains 2 tables.)
Shannon Research Press. Available from: Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society. ANZCIES Secretariat, Curtin University, Box U1987, Perth, WA Australia. Tel: +61-8-9266-7106; Fax: +61-8-9266-3222; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia