Bringing Pluralism into Foundation Year Economics

  • Michael Elliott King's College London


Calls for more pluralistic and critical forms of economics education have gathered momentum in recent years, often as part of broader initiatives towards ‘rethinking’ economics. In this article, I reflect on these calls from a foundation year per-spective. Inquiring into the meaning and implications of a pluralisation agenda at this level of study, I seek to clarify the critiques its proponents advance against mainstream economics education, the direction of change they propose, and the terms on which this is justified. I also consider the pedagogical and practical challenges associated with pursuing pluralism in a foundation year context. Arguing that pragmatism and creativity are needed if these challenges are to be successfully negotiated, I present an example of what this might mean in practice. This is drawn from three years of work to embed pluralism in an international foundation programme (IFP) economics module at a UK university. While far from perfect, this serves to indicate the possibilities that exist for enhancing pluralism at this level, and what the rewards for doing so might be.


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