Building a "new normal" for economic teaching

We are tackling the “crisis of conformity” in economics by opening up teaching to diverse, critical and creative thinking.

Only this way can we develop the capabilities to lead economic system change for a just transition to zero carbon and an ecologically sustainable world.

Why do we need a “new normal?”

Most economics teaching is dominated by a single approach to thinking about economics, called neo-classical economics. This approach has many limitations in representing real-world economies as vividly illustrated in the fact that most economists did not see the 2008 Crash coming. Inspite of that there has been limited change.

This also means that students end their studies only aware of one way of thinking about economics, which they are taught is ‘right’. They lack critical, creative and communication skills. They are stuck in the narrow box of neo-classical economics and cannot think outside it.

This group-think pervades policy, politics and the media which stifles policy reform.

However there is a wide range of innovative teaching happening that recognises different approaches to thinking about economics. However this teaching has limited profile and is often happening outside of the economics departments. It is seen as fringe if it is noticed at all.

How We Are Doing This

We are facilitating a 2 phase international online dialogue

  • Phase I is developing the broad principles and process on criteria, evidence and governance.
  • Phase II will be used to develop detailed processes and practicalities.

We aim to open the system for accreditation in 2020.

You can see more detail about the co-creation process here.

We have used an online platform to establish high-level consensus, shared google docs and blogs to work through the detail, and Zoom meetings to discuss controversial issues.

We are currently looking for comments on our approach to assessment, compliance and learning here and on governance here. Please add your thoughts.

Our Progress So Far

We have gathered many supporters and identified a wide range of masters programmes that potentially take a pluralist approach to teaching economics.

We have co-created the broad principles and criteria for teaching economics from a pluralist perspective:

See here for full detailed criteria with translations into a range of languages

We are currently seeking endorsement for these from academic associations and other stakeholders.

So far

…have provided endorsement and we expect to get endorsement from others over the coming months.