Introducing Race and Gender into Economics

Introducing Race and Gender into Economics

Introducing Race and Gender into Economics

Introducing Race and Gender into Economics

Synopsis

Introducing Race and Gender into Economics is a ground breaking book which generates ideas for integrating race and gender issues into introductory economics courses. Providing an introduction to economics from the perspective of race and gender, it incorporates specific examples and encourages the reader to examine basic economic concepts. Each section gives an overview of how to modify standard courses, including macroeconomics, methodology, microeconomics as well as race and gender-sensitive issues. Essays include: a history of women in economics and why they may not find it an attractive field of study; the different learning styles of some African Americans; expecting more of Asian-American students based on the myth of the "model minority; " and the problems with data.

Excerpt

This is a book intended to generate and develop ideas on how to integrate race and gender issues into introductory economics courses. Integrating race and gender issues into the introductory course is important because over 900 colleges and universities offer introductory economics. the content of these courses is heavily dependent upon the content of the introductory texts. Studies have shown that most texts contain very little material dealing with race and gender issues. Those books that do tend to put such issues into special chapters, and often treat them in stereotypic ways. Thus introductory courses generally have very little material that deals with economic concepts and policies from the perspective of race and gender.

While the content of courses and textbooks is largely standardized throughout the country, students have become more diverse. Slightly more than half of all college students are now female, and racial and ethnic backgrounds are increasingly eclectic. Textbooks that deal with economic concepts as if race and gender considerations do not exist, or are not important, have little relevance to a growing proportion of students. Reacting to these concerns, the National Science Foundation funded a proposal for three five-day summer workshops on integrating the latest scholarship on women and minorities into the introductory economics course. Participants chosen for the workshops came from across the country and were seasoned instructors representing a cross-section of faculty from small liberal arts colleges, large research universities, historically black colleges, and women's colleges.

During the workshops there were large group presentations and small group discussions designed to model a variety of effective teaching techniques in a simulated classroom environment, not unlike the ones many participants find themselves in. Using what they had learned from attending these workshops, several participants developed examples in their own voice for use in this book. Many of these examples begin with an introduction discussing course goals, targeted students, teaching techniques, and institutional constraints. Next, a free-standing race- and/or gender-focused-lecture, discussion, or simulation is developed. Lastly, some authors reflect on the exercise, with a discussion of troubling points that may arise and how to handle them.

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