Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Economics 'dying out' in UK schools

This from a news report from the BBC.The BBC says
Only three economics teachers were trained on teacher training courses in the whole of England last year, shows a study of students entering teaching.

The report's author, Professor Alan Smithers, warns that economics risks "dying out" as a school subject.
One reason for the lack of economics teacher trainees could just be the better outside options for economics graduates.

The report goes on to say
The figures for economics A-level students have been in a prolonged downturn - down by more than a quarter between 1996 and 2006 to about 17,000 - with the subject overtaken by a range of other subjects that have become much more popular.
The BBC goes on to add
Professor Smithers says it remains uncertain why so few students are entering teacher training for economics - or why the subject is in decline in schools.

Among the suggestions, he offers, are that economics is a difficult subject, requiring a strong grasp of mathematics, which limits the numbers of those able to enter the subject.
There might also be a shift away from the demanding academic discipline of economics towards more general business qualifications.
So business studies is easy and economics hard, and thus student move into the easy subjects.

I don't know what the situation is in New Zealand but to be honest having no economics at school may not be that bad. University courses in econ don't assume any background in the subject so doing subjects like English, maths, stats and history at school could provide a better background than doing economics itself.

(HT: The Undercover Economist)

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