Who teaches the teachers?

A couple of stories have invaded my consciousness recently about the pros and cons of studying economics.

Times Higher Education featured an article by Matthew Reisz that purported to be about the joys of Economics and started off with the line that …

today the “dismal science” of economics is sexy

… but the article was more an ode to the joys of complexity, the mathematical intricacies of the subject and its relation to the real world – where economists can and do have important things to say about the world around us, or as Reisz puts it

How far has the discipline become so self-enclosed and drenched in mathematical technicalities that business people and policymakers find it hard to extract the practical lessons – and the wider public, eager to learn more, doesn’t get a look-in?

So is economics sexy, but difficult?

Well another news nugget, this time from the BBC may confirm this, as the latest Good Teacher Training Guide for 2008 says that just three economics teachers were trained in England last year, or as the report states on page 16.

… the general picture is that difficulty of filling the teacher training places in a subject is reflected in the poorer entry qualifications of and a higher rate of drop-out of those admitted. One incidental point to emerge from Chart 12 is the seeming near death of teacher training in economics.

An economics degree will open many doors, perhaps too many, so that the prospect of teaching schoolchildren about the subject, is just not appealing or financially rewarding enough in comparison to some of the other potential careers on offer.

Find out more about the joys of studying economics from the Why Study Economics website or the joys of teaching economics from the Economics, Business and Enterprise Association.

Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the topics of Economics and Education.