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Contextualisation and learning in economics: An intentional perspective on the role of values.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2008 (English)In: Symposia Exploring “Hot” Conceptual Change: Affect, Emotions, Values, Self-Efficacy and Epistemic Beliefs.: 6th international conference on Conceptual Change, European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction, Turku, Finland., 2008Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper reports research findings from a project focussing the way values influence learning and conceptual change in the social science subject of economics. Interviews were conducted, focussing students’ experiences of learning in economics, with 11 (all) students who were in their first week of a masters course on ‘Sustainable enterprising’, at Stockholm University. The 11 students were chosen due to their various educational backgrounds in biology and economics: two students had degrees in economics, and among the remaining 9 students, 5 had a degree in biology followed by courses in economics. The results of the analysis draw on inferences made from an intentional perspective, that is, a perspective that takes into account the students’ aims defined as ‘projects’. First, the results show that economics concepts and theories were interpreted in a societal context as values in monetary terms were viewed in line with a dominant discourse in society, to which the students opposed. Secondly, when elaborating on what (natural objects and processes) in an economical context, the concepts price and pricing became challenging in relation to the consequences: not capturing important features necessary for environmental maintenance. In relation to previous studies of learning in economics (e.g. Pang & Marton, 2005) this is of particular interest, as the ‘what’ in pricing has not been acknowledged. Importantly, these students succeeded in learning, which can be explained by their professional aims, their ‘project’. The paper finalises by discussing findings in relation to the “warming trend” (Sinatra, 2005) in conceptual change research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-15833OAI: diva2:182353
Available from: 2008-12-14 Created: 2008-12-14Bibliographically approved

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