Online Economics Course Recommendation for Prospective Teacher
July 30, 2015 9:41 AM   Subscribe

My friend needs to teach AP/IB Economics soon. He's already fairly familiar with many concepts, but it has been years since he's done economics and he can't do the calculations or explain finer points anymore. What online course would you suggest? It should start soon and (ideally) be able to be gone though at his own pace. It a course is not available, what resource would you recommend? Thanks!
posted by chinabound to Education (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Core Econ is a great online course/textbook (available free if you register). It was created to address some of the shortcomings of neoclassical economics, so it offers a fairly critical perspective.
posted by cushie at 9:54 AM on July 30, 2015

Perhaps something at MIT Open Courseware.
posted by SemiSalt at 10:46 AM on July 30, 2015

I can't find a course, but I took a combined AP/IB economics course in high school, and the IB course required a section on development economics which is not a topic covered very heavily in typical intro econ classes. I'd recommend spending some time with those concepts, probably guided by whatever is on the syllabus/using recommended texts from IB (a non-US textbook is probably best, since IB courses are intended to be "global").
posted by MadamM at 12:43 PM on July 30, 2015

Coursera has some online classes that look useful. He might also consider meeting with an economics tutor for a few sessions so he can brush up on this information. I hear good things about Wyzant for finding tutors.

All that said, if this part is true - he can't do the calculations or explain finer points anymore - I would posit that he doesn't have any business teaching students this material. It's really not fair for smart, ambitious students at the AP/IB level to have a teacher who is this rusty at the subject. Can he teach something else instead?
posted by schroedingersgirl at 12:59 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Khan Academy has micro and macro units that should help re-familiarize your friend with the fundamentals and the kinds of calculations done in introductory-level college material.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:16 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Advanced placement tests tend to be fairly predictable. In addition to general reading and study of the subject, I would encourage this teacher to become deeply familiar with what the target exam covers. (Economics is a huge subject, so it's worth knowing where to focus. In my experience students of teachers who knew to cover certain topics that would be on the exam had a decided advantage way at test time.) Official lists of what the tests cover can be found online on the testing bodies' websites. It looks like Barrons publishes a good AP Econ study guide. For the IB test he or she may have to rely on online study guides prepared by other teachers or even students. While it would be good to have a more general mastery of economics as a discipline, I suspect that studying up on what the students will be expected to know will get your friend far. Apologies if this advice is too obvious. I know some frown on teaching to the test, but getting IB/AP credit can be a real boon to a student. Good luck to your friend!
posted by reren at 2:38 PM on July 30, 2015

While I agree with schroedingersgirl that one probably shouldn't teach a course for which one lacks sufficient background in the subject, it's unlikely that schedules will change at this point. Things are pretty set, and making changes to a master schedule at this point in the year makes administrators a bit twitchy.

I would recommend getting an AP study guide book for the test and working through that. It's WAY cheaper.
posted by guster4lovers at 5:56 PM on July 30, 2015

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