The Elgar Companion to Social Economics, Second Edition
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The Elgar Companion to Social Economics, Second Edition

Edited by John B. Davis and Wilfred Dolfsma

Social economics is a dynamic and growing field that emphasizes the key roles social values play in the economy and economic life. This second edition of the Elgar Companion to Social Economics revises all chapters from the first edition, and adds important new chapters to reflect the expansion and development of social economics. The expert contributions explain a wide range of recent developments across different subject areas and topics in the field, mapping out possible directions of future social economic research. Social economics treats the economy and economics as embedded in a web of social and ethical relationships. It considers economics and ethics as essentially connected, and adds values such as justice, fairness, dignity, well-being, freedom, and equality to the standard emphasis on efficiency. This book will be a leading resource and guide to social economics for many years to come.
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Chapter 5: Teaching and learning in economics

Zohreh Emami


Social economics aims for an economy dedicated to the achievement of individual dignity. The assumption of intrinsic worth and dignity of individuals provides a strong foundation for the human rights of all agents to self-determination and freedom (Clary et al., 2006; Lutz and Lux, 1988, 1999). Furthermore, the recognition that human dignity relates intimately to human rights lays the foundation for the inalienability of the rights of individuals not only in the context of political decisions but also in the social-economic realm (Lutz, 1999). For social economists, therefore, the dynamic and reflexive relationship between the extent to which economic processes and institutional contexts enhance individual capabilities and the impact of individuals on institutional practices is an indicator of social-economic development and progress (Sen, 1999). This chapter builds the case for the following two claims: first, that the significance of teaching and learning for social economists is bound up with their commitment to the intrinsic worth and rights of individuals to dignity, freedom and self-determination; and, second, that teaching and learning economics are integrally connected with the analytical and value foundations of economic perspectives as part of the evolution of social-economic systems, institutions, and of individuals (Emami, 2013). Two approaches to teaching and learning are contrasted in this chapter. The conventional approach sees learning as the acquisition of knowledge and information, and teaching as the delivery of these.

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