The Teagle discussion analyzes why economics teachers have become overly narrow in their pedagogical perspectives, thus pulling back from fully supporting the liberal arts agenda. In Chapter 1, Colander and McGoldrick (p. 6) observe that the generalist approach that excites students by asking "big think" questions across disciplinary boundaries fails to generate new knowledge, while the narrow "little think" questions that can be answered often fail to develop the critical thinking skills necessary for liberal education. As one example, the authors cite the decline of moral reasoning in economics, which was once center stage in Adam Smith's analysis of society. Since the rise of positivism in the late nineteenth century, moral reasoning has become an intellectual casualty.

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Copyright © 2009, Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc. This chapter first appeared in Educating Economists: The Teagle Discussion on Re-evaluating the Undergraduate Economics Major.

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