Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research (Print ISSN: 1533-3590; Online ISSN: 1533-3604)

Abstract

Teacher Trainees Conceptions of Economic Policy Instruments For the Environment

Author(s): David Low Beer

In economics as well as environmental policy, Economic policy instruments for the environment (EPI) are typical and widely used measures to address ecological problems. However, very little is known about teaching and learning EPIs. This paper investigates qualitatively different ways in which teacher trainees of Economics in two German universities assess typical EPIs and compares them to disciplinary criteria. Data has been gained in group discussions. The paper applies the phenomenographic and documentary method. Teacher trainees’ conceptions are found to only partially represent means-end-relations typical for Economics. Furthermore, important differences between teacher trainees’ conceptions are found depending on the scenario used and the instrument they are evaluating. Based on teacher trainees’ preconceptions and a comprehensive literature review of the relevant research from Ecological, Environmental and Behavioural Economics, I derive implications for teaching, primarily for teachers, but adaptable to suit for other students as well.