Prof. Cohen delivers talk on alternative approach to intro economics, Feb. 24

A talk delivered by Avi J. Cohen, professor of economics at York University, will explore the impact of a literacy-targeted approach to economics courses on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 3:30pm.

Avi J. Cohen
Avi J. Cohen

The presentation “What Should Go into the Only Economics Course Students Will Ever Take?” is presented by the Office of the Master, Vanier College, and the Department of Economics. It will take place in the Senior Common Room, 010 Vanier College, and is open to all.

Cohen is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including Canada’s most prestigious national award for educational leadership, the 3M Teaching Fellowship. In this talk, he will look at the content and controversy of literacy-targeted courses and their integration into a university curriculum.

Introductory economics courses provide graphical and mathematical tools economics majors need, but the vast majority of students who then stop studying economics waste course and study time trying to master tools and concepts they will rarely use and soon forget.

An alternative, literacy-targeted approach focuses on a shorter list of core concepts that students can use for the rest of their lives, supplemented by active learning to pursue higher-level mastery. Research shows that literacy-targeted introductory courses still provide the preparation for upper-year courses if a student decides to major in economics.

Cohen has a PhD from Stanford University, is a Life Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, and is past-president of the History of Economics Society, and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the History of Economics at Duke University. His research interests are in the history of economics, economic history, economics education, and technology-enhanced learning. His textbooks, Micro/Macro Economics for Life, are published by Pearson Canada.

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