Recognition for Pluralist Economics Teaching

The teaching of pluralist economics in Australia received major recognition this week, with Professor Rod O’Donnell at UTS announced as a winner of one of the prestigious Australian Government Awards for University Teaching Excellence for 2013.  He was the only economist to receive an award.

His application was largely (but not entirely) based on the innovative design and delivery of his ‘Alternative Perspectives in Contemporary Economics’ course. As well as teaching eight schools of economic thought (including the mainstream), the course simultaneously focuses on developing fifteen valuable graduate attributes of benefit to students, employers and society, many of which cannot be effectively delivered in mainstream courses. This is achieved by thoughtfully integrating the multiple perspectives content with suitably chosen activities that foster skill formation in many areas.  Extensive and extremely positive feedback from students and graduates shows that the approach is highly successful and has had profound transformative effects on their lives and careers.  An account of his approach is forthcoming in the Festschrift to Frank Stilwell, Challenging the Orthodoxy, Springer-Verlag, 2014, with an earlier account of the subject in R Garnett, E K Olsen & M Starr (eds), Economic Pluralism Routledge, New York, 2010.

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