A related difficulty is that introductory economics courses are typically awash with equations and graphs. Formal mathematical analysis has facilitated considerable intellectual progress in economics over the last century. But it is not a particularly good vehicle for trying to teach students introductory economics, most of whom become so distracted by the mathematical details that they never really acquire an intuitive grasp of the underlying economic principles. It's a shame, because only a handful of simple principles do most of the heavy lifting in economics.
As a species, we evolved as storytellers. When people wanted to transmit an idea, they didn't express it in the form of an equation or graph. They told a story. Students can absorb ideas in the form of equations and graphs, but in most cases only with considerable effort. In contrast, an idea that is embedded in a story slides into the human brain like a key into a lock.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Teaching introductory economics through stories
Posted by Abi. Posted at 10:52 PM