With 2019 marking the fiftieth year of publication of the Journal of Economic Education (JEE), it seems fitting to examine the evolution of economic instruction as portrayed in the Journal. Born of the American Economic Association (AEA), and first edited by members of the AEA’s Committee on Economic Education (Saunders 2012), it is not surprising that the Journal’s focus as chronicler, proponent, and outlet for economic education activity reflects the educational component of the American Economic Association’s mission. The creation of the Journal signaled a self-awareness in the discipline that we needed to be more deliberate in thinking about how we teach economics and, as a discipline, take responsibility for the teaching enterprise at all levels in the United States. Further, it has “serve[d] as a journal of ‘natural history’ of the teaching of economics” and a resource designed to document successful “techniques and patterns” so that future generations do not face the pitfalls that “human knowledge [as] a very perishable commodity” generates (Boulding 1969, 9, 10).

We provide an overview of the evolution of economic pedagogy over the past five decades as conveyed by the Journal of Economic Education. In so doing, we consider pedagogical choice along with the underlying factors that potentially drive our activity. What is the purpose of such a review? Perhaps we bask in the notion that we have seen growth as a discipline and we have evolved as economic educators, making us more enlightened and more effective practitioners. Or perhaps this exercise serves to highlight our shortcomings as a profession and provides a point of comparison to other disciplines with the possibility that, as a discipline, we have fallen behind or in some way are lacking. But ultimately, an article that chronicles the past also points the way for the future and allows for more thoughtful choices as we, in our role as economic educators, continue to grow and adapt to the teaching climate in the United States in the coming decades.

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Post-print Article

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Copyright © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group. Article first published online: March 2019.

DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2019.1582388.

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Full Citation:

Hoyt, Gail M. and KimMarie McGoldrick. "50 Years of Economic Instruction in the Journal of Economic Education." The Journal of Economic Education 50, no. 2 (2019): 168-195.

Available for download on Saturday, May 01, 2021