DSEP means that economics should be taught in such a way that gives the best possible understanding of the economy. To reach this, it is vital to know about different perspectives, methods and theories. We believe Economics courses should include encouraging critical thinking and a plurality of schools.
Today, most economic courses are mainly neoclassical. There are good arguments for why the economic course should have this school as its main focus. Nevertheless, it is a problem that many students believe that what they learn, most often neoclassical economics, is simply ‘economics’. Neoclassical economics is one important way to understand the economy, but it is not the only way. Students should be aware of this and know about the main features of other schools and methods. We believe that knowing about the history of economic thought and economic history is vital to understand the economy. Giving students a broader understanding of more perspectives is also likely to contribute to a more dynamic development of the subject.
Most academics are aware of the existence of other schools and know what they say. Nevertheless, most of the future economic experts do not necessarily have this depth of knowledge as they continue their career outside academia. To make sure the understanding of plurality has influence, the most important change is not that academics know about it, it is to make sure those who have studied economics as undergraduates have an understanding of pluralism.
DSEP’s first curriculum report has just been released, and can be found here!