Re-thinking Economics Teaching

UCL Launches New Curriculum in Economics

“Economics teaching has failed to convey the exciting progress made in many fields in economics over recent decades in addressing the big questions about the economy,” Professor Antonio Cabrales of the University College London said in the run up to the launch of a new curriculum in economics at the university. “We are hoping to change that.”

From October 1st London will become part of a worldwide beta test of The Economy, a new online introduction to the field, which will – the course materials say – teach economics ‘as if the last 30 years had happened’. The course is also being piloted at Columbia University, Central European University and University of Sydney along with a number of other institutions world-wide and will look to educate a contemporary crop of economists with a fresh perspective on the global economy.

“Economists in universities and central banks were found wanting when the financial crisis hit,” Carlin said. “Students from Manchester to Santiago Chile demanded courses that helped them understand and engage with the big questions they faced – not only financial crisis, but rising inequality and environmental degradation.”   

The course is based on an ebook – the beta version of which is now available to anyone for free online at – and combines text with pop-up questions to track learning and spark discussion as well as videos of Economists in Action. Students can click on an Einstein pop-up for help with difficult concepts. Models and data come to life with interactive diagrams. Though the project has not been advertised and is barely launched it already has almost 4,000 registered users.

The Economy is produced by the CORE Project (Curriculum Open access Resources in Economics), which is a group of more than 20 leading economists from around the world, coordinated by Professor Wendy Carlin of University College London. The Project, launched in November 2013 at HM Treasury is funded by the Institute for New Economics Thinking in New York and based at INET Oxford, part of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. The e-booklaunches officially in late 2016 after two rounds of beta testing.

1 Response

  1. Discontented Student

    OK, this is wrong, not only article plays with the name of the student community that never endorsed CORE, but also mentions groups from University of Manchester and University of Chile (which also have bit less than positive attitude towards CORE – see PCES Manchester report’s section on CORE), as if CORE resolves their demands, which it clearly doesn’t do. The curriculum is good ol’ neoclassical school with a bit of empirical fig leaf. No type of pluralism, no endorsement of critical thinking, no philosophy of science – which makes it very weak improvement. Doesn’t seem like learning on economics’ past mistakes.

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