Difference between revisions of "Alter the introductory textbooks"

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== Choose introductory textbooks that better portray the diversity of the population. ==
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Introductory economic textbooks often either contain misrepresentations of underrepresented groups, or do not even bother to mention underrepresented groups at all. The textbook is an integral component to the economics classroom, and is a key resource in providing students further insight into the field. Biases that are present in economic textbooks not only create an uncomfortable classroom environment for underrepresented students, but it also may discourage underrepresented students from further studies in economics.  
  
There are over 2 million students who take an introductory psychology course because of major/minor requirements, general interest in the area, or as requirements of other majors. Thus, there is a huge influence that the introductory textbook has in the effort to recruit and retaining minorities into the field of psychology. The APA (American Psychological Association) commissioned the Textbook Initiative Work Group to develop a general guideline of 20 categories to help in this effort.
 
  
There isn't empirical research done on the any results of altering textbooks, but this is more of a guideline based on personal expertise and reading through current and previous textbooks to see what the best changes would be.  
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Common issues found in introductory economics textbooks include biases associated with the definition of economic problems, biases associated with the review of previous research, and biases that marginalize the experiences of women and minorities. These biases range from stereotypical representations of underrepresented groups to ignoring underrepresented groups completely when mentioning topics that highly effect women and minorities.  
  
Trimble, Joseph, Stevenson, Michael, & Worell, Judith. (2003). Toward an inclusive psychology: infusing the introductory psychology textbook with diversity content. American Psychological Association.
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Biases associated with the review of previous research can also be observed in introductory economics textbooks. Unlike other social sciences like sociology, political science, or psychology, a comprehensive reading list and extensive documentation of sources are typically not provided in economics textbooks. Therefore often times it is ambiguous as to whether a study sample has flawed methodology which as a result has depicted underrepresented groups negatively. In addition, references may also produce bias simply because often times textbooks have very little variety in the sources used to present topics such as poverty. "Despite the commitment of teachers and textbooks to “teaching students to think like economists,” it is remarkable that our textbooks offer so little choice on these important issues. (Feiner 150)"
  
http://www.apa.org/education/undergrad/diversity.aspx
 
  
John Oh
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Overall Rating: 9
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Feiner, Susan F. "Introductory Economics Textbooks and the Treatment of Issues Relating to Women and Minorities, 1984 and 1991." Journal of Economic Education v24, n2 (Spring 1993): 145-62.}}
 
 
 
 
Feiner, Susan F. "Introductory Economics Textbooks and the Treatment of Issues Relating to Women and Minorities, 1984 and 1991." Journal of Economic Education v24, n2 (Spring 1993): 145-62.
 

Revision as of 23:44, 19 October 2011

Introductory economic textbooks often either contain misrepresentations of underrepresented groups, or do not even bother to mention underrepresented groups at all. The textbook is an integral component to the economics classroom, and is a key resource in providing students further insight into the field. Biases that are present in economic textbooks not only create an uncomfortable classroom environment for underrepresented students, but it also may discourage underrepresented students from further studies in economics.


Common issues found in introductory economics textbooks include biases associated with the definition of economic problems, biases associated with the review of previous research, and biases that marginalize the experiences of women and minorities. These biases range from stereotypical representations of underrepresented groups to ignoring underrepresented groups completely when mentioning topics that highly effect women and minorities.

Biases associated with the review of previous research can also be observed in introductory economics textbooks. Unlike other social sciences like sociology, political science, or psychology, a comprehensive reading list and extensive documentation of sources are typically not provided in economics textbooks. Therefore often times it is ambiguous as to whether a study sample has flawed methodology which as a result has depicted underrepresented groups negatively. In addition, references may also produce bias simply because often times textbooks have very little variety in the sources used to present topics such as poverty. "Despite the commitment of teachers and textbooks to “teaching students to think like economists,” it is remarkable that our textbooks offer so little choice on these important issues. (Feiner 150)"