From Theory to Practice

By Phyll Esplin and Arlene Garces-Ozanne.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Economics is usually taught in universities using ‘chalk and talk’ methods to students who are essentially ‘passive’ learners. In contrast, this paper presents a learner-centred classroom experiment that engages as many senses as possible, thereby inspiring students to learn economics in a more active fashion. The experiment – a simple labour market game – uses visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles. This ensures that students who learn by seeing and imagery (the visual learners), by talking and listening (the auditory learners), and by movement and action (the kinaesthetic learners) are each catered for, ensuring the learning capacity of the class overall is expanded. By becoming more active learners students are better able to retain information. We find that the active learning techniques improve student retention of information. This appears to result in improved performance in examinations.

Keywords: Classroom Experiment, Retention, Active Learning, Labour Market

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 11, pp.143-148. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 718.125KB).

Phyll Esplin

Teaching Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

Phyll teaches introductory micro and macro economics and the world economy. She has taught in various institutions to students of all ages. She is very interested in ensuring that the learning environment is conducive to all students.

Dr. Arlene Garces-Ozanne

Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

Arlene’s research interests are mainly in the areas of East Asian economic development and labour economics (migration and ageing population issues). Her teaching includes Labour Economics, Principles of Economics 2 and the World Economy.


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