The last ten years have been a uniquely productive period for research on economic education. In particular, this new literature has improved our understanding about what particular teaching methods lead to greater student course performance (e.g., active learning). Furthermore, on the cost side of things, we have also seen impressive technological changes to the way we deliver content to students (e.g., online lectures). And these supply-type changes are creating dramatic industrial shifts in the way we teach economics at all different levels (e.g., erasing the so-called “cost disease”). Yet, despite these structural changes most instructors still teach the Principles of Economics course in the same general way; by focusing on covering (and “covering” still means “lecturing”) the same general topics each semester. This is puzzling, given the relatively safe assumption that a change in pedagogy would require a change in content. For instance, an instructor wishing to adopt the best active learning techniques may be forced to create classroom time by increasing the amount of time students spend on each particular topic.
In this panel we intend to elaborate on this somewhat puzzling situation by debating whether it is time to change the traditional content, both in terms of breath and structure, in the Principles of Economics course.