Last Monday, May 7th, we published our much anticipated curriculum research “Thinking like an Economist?”! The research investigates to what extent Dutch economics bachelor curricula prepare students well for the role they are about to play in society as economists. The result proved a cause for real concern: while studying economics, students hardly get familiar with what is going on in the economy, are not introduced to different theoretical perspectives, and are hardly challenged to go beyond the smooth assumptions one finds in mainstream textbooks. And that is not only a pity for curious and engaged students; it is also a serious societal problem, as economists should play leading roles in addressing the pressing challenges — poverty, climate change, financial instability, and inequality —that we as a society face today.
To spread this message of concern, our Rethinkers have visited all nine universities that were subject to our research: the University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, the Free University, Radboud University Nijmegen, the University of Groningen, Erasmus University, Tilburg University, Wageningen University of Research and the University of Maastricht. At these universities, we offered our published report to those at the heart of the much-needed curriculum reform — professors, deans, program directors, and engaged students.
Our publication and tour was accompanied by the launch of our brand new website, economicseducation.org. When visiting this website, you will not only find a comprehensive overview of what is wrong with Dutch curricula; you will also find alternative educational materials that make studying economics what it should be: inspiring, engaging, messy, and fun! For all of those Rethinkers that feel more comfortable reading Dutch, een Nederlandse versie zal jullie tegemoet treden op 19 mei aanstaande!
Did our publication go unnoticed? Matters that raise serious societal concern shouldn’t - and ours was no exception! Academic Rethinker Ewald Engelen has written this powerful op-ed in which he puts our results in a larger political-ideological context. Sander Heijne, journalist for De Correspondent, was keen as well to shed a light on the relationship between our findings and the larger societal developments. Rethinker Martijn Jeroen van der Linden took the effort to summarise our core findings and list some implications at the well-known Follow the Money platform.
Will this be all for now? Will it blow over like a mild wind? You bet not! If you haven't already, make sure to mark May the 19th in your agenda! RE:NL has been busy organising the big Rethinking Economics Festival at the International Campus of Utrecht University. Registration is here. And in the meantime…you might just come across some of us popping up to further elaborate on our research! Expect the unexpected, and stay tuned!
Do you want to make an impact on what people think? Shape the way we communicate? Make the Rethinking message cool, funny, inspiring, and clear? And are you good at capturing the essence of things in a few words, and handy with social media? Then make sure to get on board to help Rethinking spread the word for a better education!
As contributor to our communication activities, we provide you the opportunity to make impact with the things you communicate. You will regularly post things at our social media platforms, will together with others look critically on how we can improve the way we communicate, and have the possibility to communicate those things about economics education that you find most important! While being there where the important word is spread, you’ll get to know better fellow students that have the same interests as you!
Do you bring an energetic spirit with you that inspires us all? And are you not only having bright ideas, but also the one that gets things done? Then we are looking for you! Be on our communications team, take an active role that fits you in voicing our message, and feel rewarded with our appreciation eternally!
Be the one that takes this chance, and send an e-mail to email@example.com
#FixingMarketFailures: Designing an online portal that informs prospective economics students about the different Bachelor degrees and the extent to which they teach economic pluralism. It is based on a study RE NL has done and is going to publish in 2018. The website is supposed to allow students to compare different programs and their alternatives. With this project we hope to fix the information asymmetry in the market for economics education!
Are you the one we need? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you keen to bring your favourite economist to the Netherlands? And do you want to organise a festival that will long be remembered for its impact? Then come and support our cause as Rethinking’s new CEO (Chief Event Officer)!
Coming spring, Rethinking will organise a big RE:Festival in order to bring together like-minded academics and students to proceed in bringing about a more diverse curriculum. At this festival, planned to be held at an A-level location, academics and students will engage in a large debate about how a proper economics curriculum should look like, and what steps are needed to be taken to get there.
The impact the event will help to create will not come effortless. Do you bring an energetic spirit with you that inspires us all? And are you not only having bright ideas, but also the one that gets things done? Then we are looking for you! Be our CEO, take an active role that fits you in bringing home our RE:Festival, and feel rewarded with our appreciation eternally <3
Be the one that takes this chance, and send an e-mail to email@example.com
See here our presentation for the ICAPE Conference, Powerpoint, and How-To Guide.
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