Economic Theoty

Teaching Economic Theory “Why Examples Should Precede Theory"

Manolis Anastopoulos, Dissertation, Middlesex University.


This project began, on the one hand, due to the researcher’s belief in everyone’s potential and right to obtain knowledge and, on the other, due to the forever increasing ‘need’ of today’s society for the knowledge of economics.

It was determined as an aim to investigate how effective a teaching method of the theory of economics in which ‘the example would precede the theory’ would be.

The research was based on the total strength which is created by the combined and parallel use of different research methods and tools.

With the identity of the insider-researcher, due to my profession as a teacher, I conducted an action research in the workplace of schools and tutorial schools, with both qualitative and quantitative approaches, so that there would be width and depth in this research.

A variety of research tools, such as bibliography, observation, interviews and questionnaires –whose quantity data were statistically analyzed using the programme  SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Scientists ) , were used to collect data.

The processing of the collected data came up with three important results among others. Firstly, the awareness of the participant students for the ‘need’ for a knowledge of economics. Secondly, their wish for the use of generally different teaching methods especially in the course of the theory of economics. Thirdly, their preference in the position of the example during teaching economics, namely their expressed preference in ‘the example preceding the theory’.

In addition, research showed the students’ preference to examples taken from ‘everyday life’, which due to their realism, gain larger importance in their role as motive for the activation of students’ interest in economics.

We would like to believe that with the approach we have analyzed, that is ‘The example preceding the theory, we will participate in conveying the knowledge of economics more effectively. Based on our approach, conveying knowledge will be accomplished with the cooperation of students. The result of this joint effort will be the ‘revelation’ of the theory, after we have previously analyzed everyday examples of behavior of economics.


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