“We Provoked Business Students to Unionize” – a good example for critical teaching

If you want to know, what good critical teaching is, you should read this article. Body and mind, feeling and thinking are being connected in the classroom (https://criticalmotteaching.wordpress.com).

Abstract. “Many industrial relations (IR) scholars experience some angst at their (mis)placement in business schools. While our Abstract Many industrial relations (IR) scholars experience some angst at their (mis)placement in business schools. While our expertise broadens the curriculum, the topics central to IR and union?management matters often are met with student resistance, particularly in North America. At our wits? end, we decided to employ a deception simulation. We devised an award winning exercise that broke business students? psychological contract with their professor and gave them an opportunity to organize collectively to redress this injustice. Students observed first-hand the triggers of union organizing as well as their responses to inequity. Anonymous student feedback showed an overwhelmingly positive reception to the exercise. Ethical standards developed to scrutinize deception are used to review our own exercise according to our profession?s standards. Deception is rarely used in teaching and is often associated with malevolent, callous or selfish ends. We challenge this viewpoint. Its power is in generating relevant controversies and evoking emotions that help memory consolidation.” (Taras/Steel 2007: 179)

See also: https://wp.me/p3d74-CD at  www.employmentrelations.de


Call for papers: “Teaching Social Economics during the Global Financial Crisis”

Call for papers: “Teaching Social Economics during the Global Financial Crisis”

International Journal of Social Economics

 The Associate editor of the International Journal of Social Economics, Professor John Marangos, invites papers for a special issue with the theme “Teaching Social Economics during the Global Financial Crisis”.

The current literature on the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) focuses mostly on the causes of the crisis and the economic and social impact on the international economy without adequate attention being paid to the impact and the challenges of the GFC on the teaching of social economics. Economics by definition is “social economics” and as such papers of all paradigms of economics will be considered for possible publication as long as the main theme deals with teaching of economics.

The papers should examine and explicitly deal with teaching issues of socio-economic theory and practice during the GFC. Researchers should aim to demonstrate innovative ways in incorporating in their teaching the GCF and the impact of those innovative ways to student learning. The papers should examine and question the prevailing consensus in teaching economics and as such illustrate alternative teaching strategies incorporating the crisis for the benefit of student learning. The teaching methodology adopted should preferably be social, holistic, historical, dynamic and comparative in nature.

The special issue will include one Graduate Student Research Paper. The Associate editor invites graduate students to submit research papers.  Proof of graduate student status should be provided with the submission. While the students’ papers will go through the regular review process and be held to the same standards for acceptance as other submissions, the panel of reviewers will serve a mentoring role to advise the student to strengthen the paper. The best student paper will be published.

The International Journal of Social Economics operates a double-blind peer review process with a minimum of two referees per paper

  • International Journal of Social Economics is indexed in Scopus and has a CiteScore of 0.56 (Scopus source). The journal is also listed in the Web of Science Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI). As well as providing a mark of quality for the journal, inclusion in the ESCI and Scopus allow papers published in the journal to be searchable, discoverable and citable via the Web of Science.
  • Managerial Finance is ranked by key journals rankings lists, such as The Association of Business Schools’ (ABS) Academic Journal Guide 2015 (the Guide), and the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC)
  • The journal has enjoyed a 28% increase in article downloads in 2016, reaching 235,594 downloads. This indicates the journal is receiving much wider exposure and interest.

Those interested should submit an extended abstract of 300 words by 1 of November 2017 as a word attachment. Approved papers should be submitted by 1 of May 2018.

For queries and abstract submissions contact:

John Marangos, Professor,
Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies,
University of Macedonia, Greece.
Email: marangosjohn@gmail.com

Didaktische Materialien zur Europäischen Schuldenkrise

Die Gesellschaft für sozioökonomische Bildung und Wissenschaft (GSÖBW) weist auf folgende Lehr- bzw. Lernmaterialien hin, die Till van Treeck im Auftrag der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung verfasst hat: http://www.bpb.de/politik/wirtschaft/schuldenkrise/239931/didaktische-materialien

“Die freien Bildungsmaterialien zur Schuldenkrise vermitteln Grundlagen im Bereich makroökonomischer Konzepte. Über Hintergrundtexte können Standpunkte im größeren Kontext betrachtet und ökonomischen Schulen zugeordnet werden. Daneben gibt es eine Vielzahl an Datenmaterial und Arbeitsblättern. Die vorliegenden didaktischen Materialien begleiten das Dossier “Europäische Schuldenkrise” und verfolgen dabei folgende Ziele:

  • Anhand von Hintergrundtexten sollen Grundlagen im Bereich makroökonomischer Konzepte gelegt werden. Diese sollen helfen, die in den Videos und in den 17 schriftlichen Debatten des Dossiers formulierten Standpunkte im größeren Kontext zu betrachten und konkurrierenden ökonomischen Denkschulen zuzuordnen. Im Mittelpunkt steht dabei der Ideenstreit zwischen den Denkschulen der Neoklassik (Angebotsorientierung) und des Keynesianismus (Nachfrageorientierung).
  • Es wird relevantes Datenmaterial zum besseren Verständnis der wirtschaftlichen Problemlagen im Euroraum aufbereitet. Die Lernenden können so ein Verständnis dafür gewinnen, wie technische ökonomische Kennziffern (z.B. Wirtschaftswachstum, Haushaltsdefizite, Staatsverschuldung, Exportüberschüsse und -defizite) im Zusammenhang interpretiert werden können.
  • Mit Hilfe von Arbeitsblättern können Lernende die Inhalte der Hintergrundtexte und Debatten in Eigenarbeit wiederholen und durchdringen. Lehrende können auf zusätzliche Lösungsblätter zurückgreifen.” (Quelle: http://www.bpb.de/politik/wirtschaft/schuldenkrise/239932/einleitung-ziele-und-aufbau-der-didaktischen-materialien)

Wirtschaftsdemokratie – kostenlose Publikation

Beim VSA-Verlag kann man das – wie ich finde: nach wie vor aktuelle – Buch “Mehr Wirtschaftsdemokratie wagenkostenlos als PDF herunterladen. (Der Verlag erbittet verständlicherweise eine Spende.) Für die Publikationen ist keine Neuauflage vorgesehen – die Forderung nach Wirtschaftsdemokratie wird dagegen immer wieder erhoben werden und insofern ein Klassiker bleiben.

Meine, Hartmut; Schumann, Michael; Urban, Hans-Jürgen (Hg.) (2011): Mehr Wirtschaftsdemokratie wagen! Hamburg: VSA-Verlag (PDF)

(Dieser Blogpost wurde zuerst unter https://employmentrelations.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/wirtschaftsdemokratie-kostenlose-publikation/  veröffentlicht.)

Noam Chomsky & Michel Foucault Debate Human Nature & Power on Dutch TV, 1971

Noam Chomsky & Michel Foucault Debate Human Nature & Power on Dutch TV, 1971 https://t.co/DDYjlrjIdi https://t.co/fIz7yeEMpq

On that website one can also find videos of this debate with English subtitles and a transkript.  – “Open Culture” is really great.

“Economics is For Everyone” (I would add: The economy is for everyone.)

“‘Economics is for everyone’, argues legendary economist Ha-Joon Chang in our latest mind-blowing RSA Animate. This is the video economists don’t want you to see! Chang explains why every single person can and SHOULD get their head around basic economics. He pulls back the curtain on the often mystifying language of derivatives and quantitative easing, and explains how easily economic myths and assumptions become gospel. Arm yourself with some facts, and get involved in discussions about the fundamentals that underpin our day-to-day lives.”

See also here: https://www.thersa.org/action-and-research/rsa-projects/economy-enterprise-manufacturing-folder/citizens-economic-council). The book Chang refers to is this: Economics: The User’s Guide, Penguin, London, 2014.

(The post has also been published here: https://employmentrelations.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/economics-is-for-everyone-i-would-add-the-economy-is-for-everyone/

“Economists and the ‘As If’ Argument” – Or: Trees sneeze – that’s where the wind comes from


Milton Friedman and many other economists argue that the assumption of rational behavior does not have to be true, rather we can take this assumption “as if” it were true. The argument also says, that it is important to make realistic predictions with these (unrealistic) assumptions.

“To put this point less paradoxically, the relevant question to ask about the “assumptions” of a theory is not whether they are descriptively “realistic,” for they never are, but whether they are sufficiently good approximations for the purpose in hand. And this question can be answered only by seeing whether the theory works, which means whether it yields sufficiently accurate predictions.” (Friedman, Milton 1953: Essays in Positive Economics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 14; I found the source here and here).

A lot has been written about this methodological perspective (cf. the blog post on the now closed blog “Unlearning Economics“). A starting point for a critique of Friedman’s methodological perspective you may find here (or here in German language).

My critique can be summarised in two sentences: “Trees sneeze – that’s where the wind comes from”. Would we be satisfied with this explanation or prediction?