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Making the Case for Inquiry-Based Teaching in an Economics Curriculum

Inquiry-Based Learning for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators

ISBN: 978-1-78441-237-1, eISBN: 978-1-78441-236-4

ISSN: 2055-3641

Publication date: 5 December 2014

Abstract

Inquiry-based teaching can provide a number of proficiencies and skills that have been identified as desirable for undergraduates in economics. However, inquiry is apparently rarely used in economics contexts, perhaps because of the lack of an appropriate model. This chapter shares a model of inquiry developed for economics themes that is amenable to any year level, and provides some strategies for implementation based on insights from the literature and from successful use of inquiry in other disciplines at McMaster University. In my course, students experience considerable autonomy and formative feedback as they follow their curiosity, undertaking secondary research on a question of their own choice. Students develop critical thinking skills, information literacy, and proficiency with making and supporting arguments using economic reasoning and evidences. A number of observations are made about the challenges to extending inquiry-based learning as an alternative to the traditional lecture-based instruction that dominates in the economics discipline. However, the inevitability that students will practice “thinking like an economist” tips the argument in favor of making a place for inquiry in the economics curriculum.

Citation

Bloemhof, B. (2014), "Making the Case for Inquiry-Based Teaching in an Economics Curriculum", Inquiry-Based Learning for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 2), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 413-428. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120140000002025

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited