Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2018

Abstract

This paper proposes the use of class debates in an intermediate level microeconomics course to introduce early- to mid-career undergraduate students to socially embedded and pluralist perspectives, political economic processes, and policy analyses. Using data from three semesters of class debates in an intermediate microeconomics course, we argue that this activity is a beneficial way to stimulate student interest in social economics, especially in the ethical, political economy, and economic justice aspects of economics and policy. We carried out three allied activities: participation in the debate, a learning self-assessment survey, and a five-page memo providing a balanced analysis of the policy conundrums surrounding the issue under discussion. We discuss three aspects of these class debates relevant to social economists: student attention to processes of knowledge construction, cognizance of power in socio-economic life, and engagement with economic justice and ethics.

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