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Learning Economics by Doing Economics: John Sloman, Dean Garratt, Jon Guest and Elizabeth Jones

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The presenters, all contributors to the Sloman suite of Economics textbooks, reflected on their personal journeys over many years of teaching economics. They discussed practical ways they have found to motivate students and help them become reflective learners and economists in the making.

Sloman, Garratt, Guest, Jones: Learning Economics by Doing Economics
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The main questions raised during the webinar that the authring team discussed were:

  • What can we do to facilitate student thinking and problem-solving as economists? 
  • How can we provide them with skills-sets that are transferable to the workplace? 

As the webinar team addressed these issues, they stressed how helpful it is to decide "what" and "how" they teach students and how they would like them to learn once they focus on the objectives of a degree in economics.

“We would probably agree that we want economics graduates to have skill sets that enable them to ‘think as economists’ and to be able to analyse and understand a range of economic issues and policy approaches and solutions.

– John Sloman

To achieve these goals, according to John Sloman, it is important, firstly, for the instructors to motivate students. Indeed, students learn much better when they are keen to find answers to questions and issues to which they can relate. These include everyday issues that affect their own lives, such as various choice decisions, and issues in the news that impact them directly - for example, inflation and the labour market.

Students learn better when they have to search for the answers themselves rather than being told. Right from the beginning of the first year, it is crucial for students to become researchers - either individually or in small groups - finding out for themselves the answers to the various questions we pose.

As John Sloman aptly noted:

"This, is learning by doing - learning by thinking like an economist and using the tools of economic analysis to understand economic issues and solutions to economic problems.

This allows learning to become both active and deep – and fun, too."

Economics for Business, 9th edition & Economics, 11th edition are now available in Print, eTextbook, MyLab®Economics and Revel® formats.
Essential of Economics for Business, 7th edition & Essentials of Economics, 9th edition are available in Print and eTextbook formats.
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Essentials of Economics, 9th edition is available in Print, eTextbook and MyLab Economics formats.

Economics, 11th edition is available in Print, eTextbook, MyLab®Economics and Revel® formats.

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