‘Economics in Ten’ Podcasts and distance learning for Economics students

Geoff Riley

26th March 2020

In this special blog, Gavin Simpson writes about the wonderful Economics in Ten podcast series. Well worth a read!

Obviously this is a strange time to be ‘teaching’ economics and we can all do with as much help as we can get, especially with setting additional work that might be of use to our students.

When we started our podcasts, we never imagined a situation where home schooling on mass would occur but now that it has, we do think that our podcasts might be able to help with those extra keen students who are looking to go ‘beyond’ the specification.

As we both teach the Edexcel Specification, we have made sure that our first season of podcasts focused on the key economists that feature within the syllabus. Obviously Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, David Ricardo and Karl Marx are not exclusive to Edexcel but we wanted to make sure that we looked at the areas that students could find of use for their studies. We cover their main ideas and then try and relate them to the modern world in a way that anybody can understand. We also criticise their work, so just like an essay, they have both sides of the argument. We also think economics should be fun and that’s why we have several questions that hopefully get students thinking in a different way about the economists.

Our specials (happiness/wellbeing, environment and love) have given us the opportunity to explore a wide range of topics that we teach, such as alternatives to GDP and behavioural economics, in relation to those topics. The specials can really give the students an opportunity to stretch their legs (as it were) as they come across lots of different economists, from Becker to Coase.

In our second season we have looked at less obvious economists but each time we have kept a firm eye on the specification and believe they can be useful for students in order to stretch themselves further and think about all the different ideas that there are in economics.

Economics should be fun and that’s why we set little questions on Instagram that the students love and try to get them really engaged in the subject via Twitter. Maybe after Easter, you might like to encourage your students to give the podcasts a go and see if it helps their wider understanding of economics.

WARNING – They are not 10 minutes!!! 

Find out more about the Economics in Ten Podcast

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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