Leeds Economics: Advances in Pedagogy (LEAP)

Pedagogic research

Collaborative teaching space 1400x700

Leeds staff conduct research into pedagogy, exploring the following subjects:

  • Learning technology
  • Aiding student transitions
  • Curriculum design

Dr Andrew Mearman has published extensively on economics curriculum design and pluralism. Recent work has offered constructive critiques of curriculum governance frameworks in the UK and Brazil and of the CORE approach to teaching economics. Dr Mearman argues for the necessity of pluralism in economics. In a recent paper, he and co-authors Danielle Guizzo and Sebastian Berger contrast mainstream and heterodox approaches to economics and promotes the latter as key to helping students to address contemporary issues.

Dr Stefan Kesting has published numerous works on alternative methods and theories of behaviour in economics, see for instance his microeconomics textbook in German and the book on Kenneth E. Boulding co-edited with Wilfred Dolfsma. He has also developed a module combining ethics and economics. Stefan has also recently reviewed a number of resources for teaching economics in a pluralist manner. At the moment most of his efforts are concentrated on writing chapters for an intermediate microeconomics textbook combining mainstream and heterodox perspectives.

Dr Tad Gwiazdowski and Dr Andrew Mearman are undertaking the project ‘Easing Your Transition After the Pandemic (EASYTAP)’ with students about their transition into second year, after the extraordinary first year they had under Covid-19 restrictions. The survey and focus group showed that our student body is not homogeneous, differing in their attitude to and uses of technology; but they generally prefer greater social interaction. Students were mainly confident about teaching and learning in the new academic year (2021-22) but had some concerns about once again becoming not social and independent but isolated learners. Drs Mearman and Gwiazdowski are working with a Laidlaw Scholar to develop the next stage of EASYTAP.

Dr Peter HughesDr Bianca Orsi and Dr Juliane Scheffel have begun a project Women into Studying Economics (WiSE), exploring the lack of gender diversity in the economics discipline and ways to counter it.

Dr Andrew Mearman and Dr Ruth Payne (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures) published an article in the Journal of Further and Higher Education exploring students’ expectations of university, using interview data.

Dr Andrew Mearman and Dr Ruth Payne are also investigating a pilot welcome tutor project in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, funded by the University’s Educational Engagement and Outreach team. The project pairs up new Masters students with an existing postgraduate researcher from the same Faculty. The scheme is now being evaluated via questionnaires and focus groups. Preliminary findings will be presented at the Leeds Student Education Conference in January 2024.

Dr Stefan Kesting, Dr Peter Hughes and Dr Giselle Huaccha have established a new Research Area within the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy (EAEPE). The area “Teaching, Pedagogy and Curriculum Development for Evolutionary and Political Economics” was launched during the 35th Annual Conference of EAEPE, held in Leeds in September 2023.

This year we had very interesting range of presentations on teaching ecological issues and climate change ranging from using serious games, to teaching environmental issues in an active learning module called “engaging the modern city” to swim along interviews and reflections on the difficulties of the complex, interdisciplinary and contested nature of teaching ecological sustainability.