Introducing Economics: A Critical Guide for Teaching

By Mark H. Maier and Julie A. Nelson
Cloth, $68.95
Paper, $24.95
M.E. Sharpe, 2007

“Introducing Economics is a pedagogical gadfly prodding our economics thinking by its critical stance while serving as the teacher’s best friend through its clear writing, smart teaching ideas, and robust suggested resources. It should be on the shelf of all social studies teachers and teacher educators.”
— Bob Bain, University of Michigan

Order from Routledge

This guide for high school teachers is designed to help instructors counter the narrowness (and, often, right-wing bias) of many high school economics curriculum materials. Following the outline of a typical high school textbook, it gives a broader view of arguments on topics including consumption, labor, corporations, the environment, and globalization. In addition, the volume includes a history of the development of high school economics, a description of the competing schools of economics, critical commentary on each of the Voluntary National Content Standards for economics, and an annotated guide to the major organizations involved in high school economics teaching. Read the Introduction for more information.


“One would not normally pick up a book called Introducing Economics with expectations for an exciting evening. As economist Robert Heilbroner is reported to have remarked ‘Mathematics has given economics rigor, but alas, also mortis.’ So the good news is that Introducing Economics manages to be both rigorous, and un-deadly……One can only hope that every high school teacher in the United States assigned to teach economics…gets hold of a copy of Introducing Economics and uses its insights and resources to enrich her own thinking and that of her students. How much wiser this nation’s political debates would be if we had generations of high school graduates trained to think through the economic assumptions so many of us have been taught to live by.”
— Joan Dye Gussow, Ed.D, Mary Swartz Rose Professor Emerita of Nutrition and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, in Finding Solutions Newsletter.

“Extraordinarily clear and thoughtful, this guide to economic ideas is certain to become a landmark resource, useful for anyone wishing to cultivate a critical understanding of economics today.”
— Myra H. Strober, Professor, School of Education and Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

“Where was this book when I started to teach economics?  Giving insight and perspective on economic principles and how they are taught, this text is a keeper- a wonderful resource for the new or veteran high school teacher.  This promises to serve as a handy guide and counterweight that provides a fresh look at the ‘dismal science!’ Nicely knitting together chapters of theory, your head will be spinning with new ways to bring economics alive for your students!”
— Elizabeth A. Porter, Teacher, Westminster High School, Curriculum Coordinator for Social Studies, Westford Public Schools

Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-1675-3
Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-1676-0

Additional resources related to teaching High School Economics can be found at the authors’ website: