Why Aren’t We Teaching Introductory Economics in a Pareto Efficient Way?

Introductory economics courses provide graphical and mathematical tools majors need, but the vast majority of students who then stop studying economics waste course and study time trying to master tools and concepts they will rarely use and soon forget. An alternative, economic literacy approach focuses on a shorter list of core concepts that students can use for the rest of their lives, supplemented by active learning to pursue higher-level mastery. Research (Gilleskie and Salemi 2012) shows that introductory economic literacy courses still provide the preparation for upper-year courses if a student decides to major in economics. This session explores the content, evidence, and controversy of economic literacy courses and their integration into a university curriculum.

Session D5 Resources

Presentation 1:
What Should Go in the Only Economics Course Students Will Ever Take?

Presentation 2:
Scalable, Scaffolded Writing Assignments with Peer Assessment in a Economic Literacy Course

Presentation 3:
How Well Do Students in Introductory Economic Literacy Courses Do in Upper Level Economics Courses? The University of Toronto Model

ECO 105 Resources

Father Guido Sarducci

As economists and teachers, what do we want our lasting “economic footprint” to be? There is a wonderful old Saturday Night Live skit by Father Guido Sarducci called “The Five Minute University.” His premise is to teach in five minutes what an average college or university graduate remembers five years after graduating.