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Valuing Us All

Feminist Pedagogy and Economics

April Laskey Aerni and KimMarie McGoldrick, Editors

Publication Year: 1999

A basic knowledge of economics is critical for making informed decisions in today's world. By offering courses and materials that are more relevant to our students' lives and encouraging more active participation in the discovery of economic concepts and theories, we promote the development of informed citizens. This volume collects pioneering work on the integration of feminist pedagogy in economics. Part 1 introduces a vision of feminist pedagogy, explains the importance of developing feminist pedagogy in economics, and proposes a model for achieving feminist pedagogy in economics that suggests changes in both course content and teaching methods. Part 2 reveals how current course content is narrowly defined and demonstrates how content can be altered to be more inclusive. Included are an analysis of current textbook treatments and examples of broadening discussions of labor supply models, U.S. poverty, and stereotyping, as well as general overviews of macro- and microeconomic courses. Part 3 reports on current disparities in economics education by gender and provides alternative teaching strategies for correcting this problem, including the service learning, peer review, e-mail discussion lists, case studies, internships, and collaborative learning. The contributors incorporate their vision of a new pedagogy with important economic concepts emphasizing equity as well as efficiency, cooperation as well as competition, and inter-dependence as well as independence. The volume will be a valuable resource for college faculty teaching economics in the United States, as well as to those teaching in related disciplines who want to design exercises that promote a more inclusive classroom environment through changes in both content and teaching methods. April Laskey Aerni is Associate Professor of Economics, Nazareth College of Rochester. KimMarie McGoldrick is Associate Professor of Economics, University of Richmond.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vii

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pp. ix-xi

At the same time these academics, while for the most part preparing their students adequately what to teach have generally failed entirely to make sure that they receive some preparation for how to teach. This is all the more surprising in view of the fact that many of their students will have careers as instructors at colleges and universities. The situation has, however, recently ...

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pp. xiii-xvii

Ever since we began teaching economics we've been frustrated by the inconsistencies and contradictions between the traditional neoclassical material presented in introductory texts and our own philosophies and viewpoints as feminists. Over the years we've each found ways to integrate our feminist perspectives through a trial and error approach. Though this may have ultimately made our teaching more effective ...

PART 1. Introduction to Feminist Pedagogy

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Toward Feminist Pedagogy in Economics

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pp. 3-18

Given the growing feminist literature oriented to reconstructing economics, it is time for economic educators, especially feminist economics educators, to look at what they teach in their courses and how they teach them. If the goals of economics education include increasing students' understanding of the world and enabling them to participate fully as citizens in a democratic society, then the economics ...

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Feminist Pedagogy: A Means for Bringing Critical Thinking and Creativity to the Economics Classroom

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pp. 19-29

The past decade has produced a plethora of reports critical of higher education, and many of these reports suggest that classroom activities focus on more than the transmission or transfer of knowledge from teacher to student (Derek Bok 1986; Ernest L. Boyer 1987; Association of American Colleges 1985). Economic education has not escaped ...

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Breaking Down the Walls, Opening Up the Field: Situating the Economics Classroom in the Site of Social Action

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pp. 30-40

The curtain rises on a scene: an introductory economics classroom, where students are sitting in neat rows. The professor begins the class by reminding students that "economics is the study of how scarce resources are allocated among unlimited wants" and proceeds to draw on the board a graph examining how the price and quantity of good X ...

Part 2: Content

Hidden by the Invisible Hand: Neoclassical Economic Theory and the Textbook Treatment of Race and Gender

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pp. 43-65

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Adding Feminist Re-Visions to the Economics Curriculum: The Case of the Labor Supply Decision

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pp. 66-74

Feminism's influence on the discipline of economics is finally being recognized, and one area that has been particularly affected is how we teach economics. This essay explores how a feminist perspective can transform the economics curriculum into a more inclusive, more realistic site where students gain an active and critical...

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Addressing U.S. Poverty in Introductory: Insights from Feminist Economics

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pp. 75-85

Over the past decade concerns about declining numbers of economics majors and the lack of race and gender diversity among professional economists have focused increasing attention on the state of undergraduate education in economics (Ferber 1995; Bartlett 1995). Increasingly, members of the economics profession have questioned the...

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What Do Students Need to Know?: Experiences with Developing a More Feminist "Principles of Macroeconomics" Course

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pp. 86-96

I began teaching principles of macroeconomics fifteen years ago by lecturing on the standard list of macroeconomic topics that I had been exposed to during graduate studies. In addition to teaching principles, my department chair requested that I teach women in the economy. My experiences with this latter course and feminist theory informed my desire to change the principles of macroeconomics course. As I gained...

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The Economics of Stereotyping

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pp. 97-102

This essay offers an example of how the economics of stereotyping can be presented in a way that can broaden course content and use some of the teaching methods advocated by feminist pedagogy. The stereotyping of occupations as male or female is a root cause of a major problem: women consistently receiving lower pay than men. While any...

The Scope of Microeconomics: Implications for Economic Education

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pp. 103-151

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Does PersonaIity Type Explain the Gender Gap in Economics?: Analysis and Pedagogy

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pp. 152-167

Nearly twenty years ago Siegfried (1979) reported that men outperformed women in introductory economics classes, and the existence of a "gender gap" became part of the professional literature. In a survey of more recent works, Ferber (1990) notes the importance of distinguishing between the stock of economic knowledge that a student has when they enter their first college economics course, and the flow or rate of...

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The Road Not Taken: Service Learning as an Example of Feminist Pedagogy in Economics

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pp. 168-183

In 1988 the Association of American Colleges (AAC) and the American Economic Association assembled a task force to study the "Status and Prospects of the Economics Major." This report, by Siegfried et aI., suggests that more needs to be done to teach our students to think like economists. Further, it indicates that lecturing emphasizes "passive learning, narrow forms of evaluation, few or no writing assignments, and a...

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Use of Structured Peer Review in Writing Intensive Courses: Helping Students Comprehend the Evaluation Process

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pp. 184-192

This case study provides a concrete example of how economics courses might begin moving, at least on the margin, toward some of the principles advocated in the feminist pedagogy literature cf. Schniedewind 1987; Shrewsbury 1993; other essays in the section on Alternative Pedagogies), in particular toward empowerment of students through use of alternative evaluation practices. I suggest specifically...

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Internships for Economics Students: Experiments in Feminist Pedagogy

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pp. 193-201

American college educators have recently shown renewed interest in expanding programs that encourage students to learn through real-world experiences. These programs cover many forms of experiential learning, from voluntary community service to foreign exchange programs. It is increasingly recognized that one way to strengthen liberal arts...

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Teaching Case Studies in the Principles of Economics Classroom: One Instructor's Experience

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pp. 202-214

Most economics instructors are concerned about the quality of learning in their classrooms. Are students learning to "think like economists" through development of their analytical skills? Are they able to apply what they learn to a variety of more or less realistic problems? Are they becoming interested in the subject-interested enough...

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E-Mail Discussion Lists and Feminist Pedagogy in the Economics Classroom

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pp. 215-223

Since the 1980s there has been a dialogue in economic education on alternative pedagogical practices that would enable students to learn critical and creative thinking (Bok 1986; Siegfried et al. 1991). Some of these dialogues suggest that feminist pedagogy is especially suited to the fostering of such skills because it emphasizes cooperation, community, and conversation rather than passive note taking...

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Putting Economics to Work

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pp. 224-240

Students are rarely given an opportunity to put the economics they learn in college to work. Instead, they are given the opportunity to apply economic principles to contrived problem sets, case studies, or even actual cases after the fact. The content of most economics courses is prescribed. In addition, students rarely get a chance to learn economics in a way similar to how they will learn and work together in their jobs...


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pp. 241-246


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pp. 247-251

E-ISBN-13: 9780472023431
E-ISBN-10: 0472023438
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472067046
Print-ISBN-10: 0472067044

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 16 tables and 2 figures
Publication Year: 1999