Interesting Economic Topics To Write About

Traditionally, most learning in the discipline is based on “chalk and talk” and teacher-centred, passive student learning.Ben Stein’s character from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a popular caricature of this “dismal science” in the classroom: highly abstract concepts delivered in a monotonous voice, which ultimately sends the students to sleep.One cause of this is that most courses try to cover too many concepts, with the result that not enough attention or time is devoted to mastering the important (threshold) concepts (Frank, 2007).

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Most Economics programs are designed with graduates and Ph D students in mind, even though they make up a miniscule number of students studying Economics: according to Frank, only 2% of American students who take an introductory economics subject major in economics (Frank, 2007).

The comparable figure in the UK is 10–15% for students taking an economics module in a non-economics program.

The theory identifies texture and pattern in the world that is stimulating to recognise and think about” (Frank, 2007).

Individual students may prefer particular learning styles, such as visual, aural or conceptual.

The learning is now internalised and great stories are usually remembered forever (Frank, 2007).

The economic naturalist writing assignment can be seen as a means of reorientating introductory classes: giving students more opportunities to practice Economics (Hansen, Salemi & Siegfried 2002).Frank adopts the “narrative theory of learning”, which claims that the human brain absorbs information in narrative (story telling) form easier than in abstract form (equations, graphs and theory).This can be traced to the evolution of our species as storytellers and the importance of narrative in a child’s learning experience (Carter, 1993, Carter and Doyle, 1996, Doyle, 1997).The term “economic naturalist” comes from an analogy Frank makes with someone who has taken an introductory course in biology: what types of questions would they be able to answer afterwards?“If you know a little evolutionary theory, you can see things you didn’t notice before.These principles will be revisited in different contexts later in the course.Students should then practice the principle by using it to solve simple problems taken from their own observations, and ultimately, to pose original questions which are then answered by the same basic principles (Frank, 2006).All students were required to write at least one reflective essay for the semester along the guidelines set by Frank with one slight modification: the essay length was extended to a maximum of 750 words.Getting students to come up with an interesting question is easy for some but hard for most at the beginning.Economic analysis plays a central role in informing EPA decision-making.The Agency’s work in this area covers a wide range of topics, focusing on evaluating the economic costs, benefits and impacts of proposed environmental regulations and policies on the national economy.


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