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Intro courses found ineffective at teaching economics

June 3, 2007

Introductory economics courses effectively teach nothing, according to Robert Frank.

Students are given tests six months after they’ve taken the course to see whether they understand basic economic concepts, and students who’ve taken the course don’t score any better on those tests than students who didn’t take the course at all.

His solution involves teaching only a few basic essentials, and emphasizing stories as a way to learn. What it means for the Henry George Schools, I think, is that we probably are more effective than academic economists, and that there was a reason why HG put all those digressions into his books.

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