Deep Diving Into Economics

There's a lot of talk in education at the minute about Deep Dives and Curriculum Intent. Whilst I absolutely agree that teachers thinking carefully about their subject is important, this has meant lots of departments are being rushed through a tick-boxing exercise to satisfy The Powers That Be.

Then I came across this tweet by Mr DHT (@dht_101), where he shared a set of questions that subject leads can ask themselves when thinking about their MFL curricula.

I'll be honest, I don't really know much about Deep Dives or Curriculum Intent statements because I hate the faddy nature of education. But I do know that it can only help students if you know your curriculum well and have a strong rationale for the way your curriculum works. To that end, I have adapted Mr DHT's list for Economics. Some of them are a bit wishy-washy, but hopefully it'll spark some useful thought.

Here's my attempt:

  1. What topic areas are taught well? Why?

  2. What topic areas are easy to teach? Why?

  3. What topic areas are hard to teach? Why? (Why) are certain areas conceptually more difficult? What can you do/have you done to help overcome this?

  4. Why do you teach topics in that order? Is there an overarching narrative to your curriculum?

  5. Is there any content not specified by the exam board that you 'teach anyway'? What's your rationale for this?

  6. Do you link Micro and Macro together? Do you prepare students for the Synoptic paper? How? Do you do this throughout the course? Throughout Year 13? In (a) block(s)?

  7. What is the role of graphical analysis in your curriculum? How important is it? How do you teach it?

  8. What is the role of precision in your curriculum? How important is precision?

  9. Would you rather students are reserved but precise or think widely if inaccurately?

  10. How do you teach vocabulary? Organically? Intentionally?

  11. What is the role of debate/discussion? A means to an end or an end in itself? How does your curriculum support this?

  12. Does understanding come before recall or vice versa? How do you ensure both of these?

  13. What is the role of contextual understanding? How important is it? How to you expose students to contextual examples?

  14. Does contextual teaching come before or after theory? Why? How do you integrate the two?

  15. Which elements of your curriculum (if any) might change from cohort to cohort?

  16. Do you prepare students for higher study? How? Do you pay special attention to the skills needed for higher study in Economics?

  17. Is procedural understanding ever sufficient? In what circumstances would you sacrifice conceptual understanding for procedural understanding?

I'm sure there's plenty of other questions to ask, but I hope there is enough there to help you get started in thinking about your curriculum.