Principles and Pluralist Approaches in Teaching Economics : Towards a Transformative Science book cover
1st Edition

Principles and Pluralist Approaches in Teaching Economics
Towards a Transformative Science

ISBN 9781138037687
Published July 14, 2019 by Routledge
362 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume is a state-of-the-art compilation of diverse and innovative perspectives, principles, and a number of practiced approaches of fields, courses, and methods of pluralist economics teaching. It fosters constructive controversy aiming to incite authors and commentators to engage in fruitful debate.

The complex economic problems of the 21st century require a pluralist, real-world oriented, and innovative discipline of economics, capable of addressing and teaching those complex issues to students from diverse perspectives. This volume addresses a number of key questions: Which models could be taught outside the equilibrium and optimality paradigm? Which methods could help to improve our understanding of the complex globalized economy? How can qualitative and quantitative methods be combined in a fruitful way to analyze complex economic problems? How can the academic isolation of mainstream economics that has developed over many decades be overcome, despite its attempted transdisciplinary imperialism? What role should knowledge from other disciplines play in teaching economics, and what is the relevance of transdisciplinarity? Through examining these issues, the editors and authors have created a pluralist but cohesive book on teaching economics in the contemporary classroom, drawing from ideas and examples from around the world.

Principles and Pluralist Approaches in Teaching Economics is a unique collection of diverse perspectives on the methodology and applications of pluralist economics teaching. It will be a great resource for those teaching economics at various levels as well as researchers and intermediate and advanced students searching for pluralism in economics.

Table of Contents

Towards a pluralist economic education for a transformative science – Introduction, Samuel Decker, Wolfram Elsner and Svenja Flechtner

Part 1: Principles of Teaching Pluralist Economics

1. The Second Opinion: An Ethical Approach to Learning and Teaching Economics, Alan Freeman

2. Making the incommensurable comparable: A comparative approach to pluralist economics education, Andreas Dimmelmeier, Frederick Heussner, Andrea Pürckhauer and Janina Urban

3. What can teaching critical pluralist economics gain from "de-othering" sociology?, Stephan Panther

4. Comparing paradigms on a level playing field, Karl Betz with Martin Ehret

5. It Needs Two Eyes to See in Perspective: Teaching Economics through the Confrontation of Dissenting Views, Michael Derrer

6. Economic competence, economic understanding, and reflexive judgment: A social theory of teaching teachers of economics, Alexander Lenger, Yvette Keipke and Nils Goldschmidt

Part 2: Approaches and Building Blocks

7. Introduction to Critical Political Economy in a multi-paradigmatic setting, Johannes Jäger

8. Heterodox perspectives in teaching the European integration and crisis: Critical political economy and post-Keynesianism, Johannes Jäger and Elisabeth Springler

9. Ecological economics in research and teaching: A matter of theoretical and ideological perspective, Peter Söderbaum

10. Suggestions for incorporating sustainability into the macroeconomics course, Jack Reardon and Maria Alejandra Madi

11. Demand-driven ecological collapse. A stock-flow fund-service model of money, energy and ecological scale, Jonathan Barth and Oliver Richters

12. Teaching feminist economics through student-written diaries, Genna R. Miller

13. Undermining the microeconomic textbook approach: Steps towards competitive pluralism, Frank Beckenbach

14. Functional income distribution in economic paradigms: The failure of the neoclassical approach and alternatives, Hans-Jörg Herr

15. The balance-sheet approach to macroeconomics, Dirk Ehnts

16. How to teach Ethics & Economics to undergraduate students?, Stefan Kesting

17. Addressing controversies in economics instruction through interdisciplinary learning communities: The Evergreen experience, Peter Dorman

Part 3: Teaching for Socio-Ecological Transformation: Economics as a Transformative Science?

18. Contours of a critical transformative science, Samuel Decker

19. Transformative Economics – Calling for a more conscious relationship between economics and society, Jonathan Barth and Florian Rommel

20. Tackling the roots: (Economic) Education for social-ecological transformation and degrowth societies, Christoph Sanders

21. Pluralist economics is taking shape. But further steps have to follow – Conclusion, Samuel Decker, Wolfram Elsner and Svenja Flechtner

Appendix: Documentation: practicing pluralism through study program accreditation


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Samuel Decker is an economist and activist based in Berlin, Germany. He works as a scientific assistant for the online learning platform Exploring Economics (www. He holds a master’s degree in Political Economy of European Integration and is an active member of the student movement for pluralism in economics.

Wolfram Elsner was Professor of Economics at the University of Bremen, Germany, from 1995 until he retired in 2016. He has also worked as head of local economic development, head of the Planning Division of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the State of Bremen, and as director of the State of Bremen government’s economic research institute from 1986 to 1995. He was president of the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy from 2012 to 2016.

Svenja Flechtner is an Assistant Professor of Pluralist Economics at the University of Siegen, Germany. She has been a research assistant at Europa-Universität Flensburg and Freie Universität Berlin. From 2014 to 2018, she was a council member of the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy.