How Different is Heterodox Economists’ Thinking on Teaching? A Contrastive Evaluation of Interview Data

Andrew Mearman*, Sebastian Berger, Danielle Guizzo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores how differently heterodox and mainstream economists think about teaching. It draws on data from interviews with sixteen leading heterodox economists, which we analyse according to the principles of thematic analysis. We find considerable variety in heterodoxy. Further, we find evidence that suggests at least some heterodox economists share some elements with mainstream counterparts: on pedagogical practice, the role of their teachers, and scant explicit knowledge of educational philosophy. However, we discover different heterodox educational goals when compared to mainstream peers, mainly clustered around a concern for more radical open-mindedness and free-thinking. Also, some of our respondents showed a commitment to pluralism and critical approach to reality in teaching. Our interviews suggest that heterodox pedagogy is a reaction against and struggle within a uniquely hierarchical and monist discipline, pointing to the sociology and ideology of the economics profession as a shaping factor. We conclude that these characteristics make heterodox pedagogy better suited to foster understanding of complex real-world economic crises associated with global warming, pandemics, and financial meltdown.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalReview of Political Economy
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • educational philosophy
  • Heterodox economics
  • interviews
  • pluralism
  • teaching economics


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