The European Economics Education Conference 2004

By Hurd, Steve | Teaching Business & Economics, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview

The European Economics Education Conference 2004


Hurd, Steve, Teaching Business & Economics


The associations of Danish Social Science Teachers (FALS) and Business Teachers (FLE) hosted the 15th European Conference on Economics and Business Education in Copenhagen, Denmark from 25 to 27 August 2004. The conference's main theme, which formed the subject of lectures by plenary speakers, was Implications of EU Enlargement for the European Economies and Businesses. The remaining conference seminars and workshops were organised into three pathways:

1. Teaching entrepreneurship

2. Teaching citizenship

3. Developments in economics and business education.

The participants included school teachers and teacher trainers from 16 countries. The meetings were held in a Technical High School for 16 to 19 year olds in the inner city district of Frederiksberg.

The conference was opened by Steen Gade, a former Minister of the Environment and current Chairman of a Danish pro-EU organisation called "The New Europe". Steen had been an opponent of further European integration but is now a convert to the cause. His main thesis was that so many modern issues have transnational implications that Europeans need to work together in tackling them. He argued that the time for holding back on the sidelines for such countries as Denmark and the UK is over. The subsequent discussion ranged wide, and included examination of the question of whether horse trading between EU governments had prevented effective protection of fish stocks - participants agreed to disagree on this. After the opening session there was a brief reception at the Town Hall of Frederiksberg.

The Enterprise pathway included sessions on the integration of Young Enterprise into the curriculum and assessment in Sweden; an EU Leonardo project on tourism and enterprise; entrepreneurship education in Germany and in Austria; and the ethos of a global company. Professor Svend Bislev from Copenhagen Business School explored the implications of cultural differences for enterprise.

The Citizenship pathway was launched with a joint session involving Peter Davies from the UK and colleagues from Germany and Denmark. Other sessions covered regionalism within the EU and an interesting examination from an Italian teacher on "When does lending become usury?". Marc Busoni from the University of Marseille presented a critical appraisal of France's nationalistic stance towards the EU.

The Developments in Economics and Business Education pathway produced an eclectic mixture of contributions. Mike Watts from Purdue University in the USA involved the audience in acting out part of a play taken from his newly published "Literary Book of Economics". The book illustrates economic concepts using extracts from works of literature. Steve Hurd led a session on how we should set about teaching controversial issues such as immigration. Dr Piet Coppieters, from the University of Antwerp, gave a plenary lecture of the Future of the EU labour Market. Andrew Ashwin, from the University of Bristol, discussed the use of www. …

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