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Introducing the Economy

Economy Studies , 2022
Level: beginner
Perspective: Other
Topic: Reflection of Economics
Format: Course description/syllabus

Economy Studies Essential Lectures

These teaching packs are designed for 90-minute (online or offline) sessions that can be added to existing courses. They help students become familiar with an important topic that is often neglected. At some universities lectures and sessions are typically longer than 90 minutes and at others shorter. Feel free to adjust the material to make it with your context and purpose.

Introducing the Economy

This lecture is based on the “Introducing the Economy” chapter from the Economy Studies book, which introduces the first building block in their framework for transforming the economics education. The aim is to give students a feel and understanding of the economy as part of a bigger whole. Thus, it is aimed to introduce to students before getting into the economics curriculum with theory and models. We want students to reflect on, and develop some answers to the following questions: What is the economy, why is it important, how does it relate to the larger human and natural world, what are the key problems today, and what roles do its experts, economists, have?

The lesson is divided into five parts:

  1. What is the economy
  2. Ecological and Social Embeddedness of the Economy
  3. Reasons to Study the Economy
  4. The Main Current Societal Challenges
  5. The Role of Economists in Society The book chapter itself will work as more elaborate instructor notes.

Suitable assessment questions and exercises for this lesson should involve things that make students think and spark interest. Essay Questions/Exercises:

  • How is the economy related to the social and ecological world?
  • Identify one item in your daily life and explain how it is connected to the economy.

Lesson plan

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how the economy is embedded in the wider political, social, and ecological world.
  • Identify what the economy is.
  • Evaluate the relevance of the economy/economics and how it is connected to other fields.
  • Explain what it means to become an economist.

Transferable Skills Developed

  • Contextual awareness
  • Knowledge and understanding

Prior to session

Suggested Readings: 

  • Economics: The User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang
    • Prologue: Why Bother? And Why do you need to learn economics?
    • Chapter 1: Life, the Universe, and Everything. What is Economics?
    • Chapter 2: From pin to PIN. Capitalism 1776 and 2014

Download Instructors Guide  Download Slides

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