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Fall 2013
ISSN 0890-913X
Volume 29, Number 1

The Case for Teaching Economics in American History: Assessment and the Economic Way of Thinking

M. Scott Niederjohn, Lakeland College
Mark C. Schug, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
William C. Wood, James Madison University
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/index.php?action=ajax&rs=GDMgetPage&rsargs[]=JPE Fall 13 v2 part7.pdf&rsargs[]=0
TheJournalofPrivateEnterprise29(1),2013,101109TheCaseforTeachingEconomicsinAmericanHistory:AssessmentandtheEconomicWayofThinkingM.ScottNiederjohnLakelandCollegeMarkC.SchugUniversityofWisconsin-MilwaukeeWilliamC.WoodJamesMadisonUniversityAbstractThispaperarguesforteachingtheeconomicwayofthinkinginAmericanhistorycourses.Itshowshoweconomicforcesarevitalinunderstandinghistoricalevents.Thepaperalsointroduces,andreleasestootherresearchers,anewassessmentinstrumentdesignedtotesteconomicthinkingskills.Thisnewinstrumentisusedinapre-andpost-testdesigntomeasuretheeffectivenessofusingasupplementaltextoneconomicsinAmericanhistory,withmodestlypositiveresults.JELCodes:A2,N00Keywords:Economiceducation;Americanhistory;Assessment;EconomichistoryI.IntroductionHistorymatters.Itmattersnotonlybecausewecanlearnfromthepast,butbecausethepresentandthefutureareconnectedtothepastbythecontinuityofasocietysinstitutions.DouglassNorth(2006,p.viii)DouglassNorthunderstoodthathistorymatters.IntheresearchthatledhimtoaNobelPrizeineconomics,heshowedhowwelearnfromoureconomicpast.Historymattersbecausetheworldsmostdiversedemocracydependsonhistorytohelpbuildnationalidentity.Itmattersbecausehistoryenrichesthelivesofthepeoplewhostudyit.101
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