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ECONOMICS FOR NON-MAJORS:. USING LITERATURE AND CREATIVE PROJECTS. James B. Heisler Professor of Economics Department of Economics, Management and Accounting Hope College Holland, Michigan. Abstract.

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economics for non majors

ECONOMICS FOR NON-MAJORS:

USING LITERATURE AND

CREATIVE PROJECTS

slide2
James B. Heisler

Professor of Economics

Department of Economics, Management and Accounting

Hope College

Holland, Michigan

abstract
Abstract

By using selections from literature and drama, as well as by having students prepare creative papers and “non-papers,” the basic economics of contemporary issues can be more meaningfully understood by students intending no additional formal study in economics.

course syllabus
Course Syllabus

Economics 200 Professor James B. Heisler

Economic Themes and Topics Office: VZN 175

Fall 2004 Tel: 7915 e-mail: heisler@hope.edu

Texts

Edgmand, Michael R., Ronald L. Moomaw, Kent W. Olson. Economics and Contemporary Issues, 6th ed. Southwestern, 2004

Watts, Michael. The Literary Book of Economics. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2003.

Exams

There will be two in-class exams. The second exam will cover material read and presented after the first exam. Each exam will be worth 100 points. See the “Class and Assignment Schedule” for exam dates.

Author/Article Reports

Each student will prepare a report on a work that is assigned reading. The report will consist of biographical information about the author as well as a brief commentary on the article. It will be typed, turned in, and given in oral form to the class. Bibliographic references, including web sites used, must be included. The report will be worth 20 points. Due dates will be assigned individually.

Paper/Non-Paper

Each student will prepare one of the following:

1. Paper: A three-four page paper relating one of the unassigned literary pieces in The Literary Book of Economics to a concept or concepts in economics developed in the course. The paper will be typed and presented in standard form, with bibliographic references included.

2. Non-Paper: A creative literary, art, performing arts, or scientific project that presents an economic concept developed in class. The grade will be based on originality, execution, and extent to which the project enhances the understanding of the economic concept portrayed.

The project will be worth 50 points and be due on October 11.

Grades

The course grade will be based on the sum of the scores on the exams, author report, and paper/non-paper. The following grade scale will then apply:

A range 243-270 C range 189-215 F Below 162

B range 216-242 D range 162-188

Class Activity

Time does not permit the coverage of all assigned text material in class. Nevertheless, students are responsible for all material assigned. It is, therefore, the student's responsibility to ask questions about material not understood. This emphasizes the importance of doing reading assignments prior to the class presentation, studying on a regular basis, and seeking personal help early and often.

Academic Integrity

It is assumed that students will be honest in all aspects of participation in this course. Providing answers to and obtaining them from another student during exams and providing information about the content of an exam to students not yet taking it is dishonest. Claiming the work of another as one’s own is plagiarism and unacceptable. Information about academic integrity and plagiarism may be found on pages 88-90 of the 2004-05 Hope College Catalog. College regulations in this regard will be adhered to.

Additional Instruction and Help

The classroom activities are only one phase of the educational experience and the student‑teacher relationship. Students desiring personal help or further information are encouraged to visit the instructor in his office during posted office hours or by appointment. Communication by e-mail (heisler@hope.edu) is also encouraged, but is not a perfect substitute for face to face interaction.

Course Objectives

As a result of attending lectures, participating in class, reading assigned materials, completing the author report and paper/non-paper and studying, students should be able to:

1) understand and demonstrate the use of basic tools of economic analysis.

2) understand and explain the nature of some current economics issues.

3) relate economic ideas to literary works and appreciate the relevance of both.

the texts
The texts

The Literary Book of Economics

Including Readings from Literature and Drama on Economic Concepts, Issues, and ThemesEdited, with commentary, by Michael Watts

Economics and ContemporaryIssues, 6e

Edgmand, Michael R.

Moomaw, Ronald L.

Olson, Kent W.

literary readings
Literary Readings
  • The Purpose

By associating literature with the topics of economics, students from other disciplines experience an alternative way of representing and understanding economic ideas. This will enhance their understanding of economics as well as stimulate in them an appreciation of the beauty and meaning of literature.

literary readings1
Literary Readings
  • The Assignments

Students read selected excerpts from the literature of fiction, poetry, and drama. These are assigned along with readings from a mainstream economics text.

literary readings2
Literary Readings
  • The Classroom Activity

Students make a written and oral presentation of the author’s biographical background and their personal observations about the meaning and importance of the piece.

Class discussion follows, linking the piece to the related economic topic.

paper non paper
Paper/non-paper
  • The Purpose

Students have different learning styles and gifts of expression. This project enables students to demonstrate their understanding of the material through different legitimate means of expression.

paper non paper1
Paper/non-paper
  • The Options—Paper

A student may choose to write a “traditional” four page paper relating one of the unassigned literary pieces in The Literary Book of Economics to a concept or concepts in economics developed in the course.Using knowledge gained in the course as well as other references the student the ability to read and interpret the literary piece.

paper non paper2
Paper/non-paper
  • The Options—N0n-Paper

A student may choose to do a creative literary, art, performing arts, or scientific project that presents an economic concept developed in class. The is based on originality, execution, and extent to which the project enhances the understanding of the economic concept portrayed.