The Journal of Social Science Education will publish a special issue in September 2018 on the theme of “Pluralist Thinking in Economic and Socioeconomic Education”. The issue will edited by Reinhold Hedtke, Bielefeld University, Germany.
For more than ten years, pluralism in economics and in the education of economists has been a hot issue. Contemporary criticism of conventional economics education has started around the turn of the millennium with student initiatives for pluralist economics like the post-autistic economics movement – with a stronghold in France (autisme-économie) – and gained momentum after the financial crisis of 2007/2008. Students turned against the perceived one-sidedness of syllabi, textbooks and exams of their universities and against economists and economics’ lack of contact with reality. In consequence, economic plurality and pluralism in economic(s) education was put onto the public agenda, initiated controversies and triggered changes in policies of higher education.
Recent student movements, however, are not the first and only stage for the debate on pluralism in economics and economic plurality. On the contrary, methodological, paradigmatic and theoretical pluralism in economic research has triggered a controversial scholarly debate. It involves key questions of teaching economics and business studies in the right way, at universities as well as at schools. Moreover, since citizens and voters, pupils and students are confronted with contentious issues concerning economic policies and their pluralist scientific rationales.
However, we do not know much about the impact of these debates on curricula, schools, textbooks, classroom practices and teacher training. Undergraduates, in principle, may be fortunate to find a more pluralist place for studying – as far as there are heterodox professors left – and overcome economics’ orthodoxy by changing the university or, at least, the department. Others may join ongoing protest movements for pluralist economics or educate themselves via pluralist platforms and webs of knowledge. In contrast, pupils and students of secondary and vocational schools as well as trainee teachers normally do not have these options. As a rule, they have to come to terms with the established curricula, content, textbooks and exams.
Against this backdrop, the thematic issue of the JSSE addresses phenomena, findings, problems and educational approaches of economic plurality and pluralism in economic research at different levels and in different contexts of the educational system. The issue will focus on teaching and learning in schools, on teacher education at universities and teacher training colleges and on social representations of economic plurality held by young people.
The thematic issue calls for deeper analyses of the underlying justifications and assumptions, guiding educational conventions and ideologies, corresponding policies, practices and vested interests. It welcomes papers of different formats, such as theoretical and conceptual or empirical papers, policy and curriculum analyses, comparative analyses, process tracing and discourse analyses as well as actor-centred empirical school and classroom research. We also look for qualitative research like ethnography of classroom practice, case studies of pluralist lessons or studies of pluralist teaching cultures.
We are reluctant to impose a rigid framework but we would be especially interested in knowing how authors respond to one or more of the following questions:
- What are the epistemological, philosophical, psychological or sociological foundations of pluralist thinking about economy, economic life and economic policies and how do they relate to economic and socioeconomic education and to social science education?
- What are key empirical findings of pluralist teaching and learning in economic and socioeconomic education at schools, universities and teacher training colleges?
- How do students cope with the challenge of pluralist economic thinking in the classroom? What impact does pluralist education have?
- What do we know about plural economic thinking of young people and plurality in their representations of the economy? How do they cope with plurality and diversity in their every-day life? What are the approaches to mundane economic plurality socio/economic education should prefer?
- The social sciences provide an abundant diversity of approaches to the economy and of economic ideas, but learning time is limited. Which approaches and ideas should be selected for secondary or higher education and why?
- How can teachers and teacher educators realise pluralist teaching and learning in every-day teaching?
- What are the main normative contexts and patterns of legitimisation for economic pluralism or monism of teaching and learning?
- What is the relationship of pronounced pluralism in the economic/socioeconomic curriculum and in teacher education to vested interests and socio/economic policies? How is teaching about scientific controversies in schools and universities related to public dispute on the economy and economic policy?
The issue will contain:
- An editorial in which key themes are highlighted and articles are briefly summarised;
- 4-6 articles of between 6-9000 words;
- 2-4 book reviews (each approximately 4-800 words long) on issues of pluralist economic teaching and learning in schools.
The focus of the special issue will be socio/economic education and subject-matter research related to the social science domain and its core disciplines economics, economic sociology and business studies. The editors will also welcome theoretical and empirical material that allows for consideration of issues using insights from a range of other academic disciplines and areas (e.g. économie des conventions/sociology of conventions, sociology of education, sociology of knowledge; economic psychology; economic anthropology etc.).
The following schedule will be used:
- First submission by authors to editors: 20 December 2017
- Response to authors by editors: 30 January 2018
- Final submission from authors: 15 May 2018
- Final reviewing and papers ready for layout: 31 July 2018
- Publication: 15 September 2018