Association for SocioEconomic Education and Research (ASEER)
Interdisciplinary thinking and research have become established concepts over recent years. The Association for SocioEconomic Education and Research (ASEER) represents a response to calls for a renewal of education and research in the economic sciences. The Association understands economics as a multi-paradigmatic social science, and subscribes to the principles of interdisciplinarity, plurality, controversy, and continuous ethical reflection. This applies to both university and school teaching, with the demand for (greater) pluralism applying across the spectrum of institutions.
We need university and teacher training concepts that connect the perspectives and findings of the central related disciplines – economics, sociology and politics. This will enable not only networked, meaningful learning and study, but also the development of (more) sophisticated approaches for addressing real social, political and economic problems. In order to analyse the interactions between politics, the economy and society, and their sometimes different logics, however, teaching methods must draw the connections between these spheres.
As things stand today, many economics curricula isolate the topic of the economy from its societal, political, historic and cultural contexts. This promotes one-sided worldviews and inadequately differentiated problem perceptions, restricts the opportunities for influence, and makes the search for solutions difficult or impossible. Problem-driven, interdisciplinary and pluralistic approaches are therefore required to tackle social problems and political challenges. Economic questions need to be analysed and reflected in their social, ecological, political and cultural contexts. This applies similarly to the financial and state debt crisis that has now dragged on for years, and to questions concerning the fiscal, social and transport systems.
Pluralistic, multidisciplinary research on school education and university teaching in the field of socioeconomics is already in progress. But the diverse activities remain scattered. Now there is a venue for academic exchange and an address for public notice: the Association for SocioEconomic Education and Research (ASEER). Its brief is to disseminate, deepen and anchor multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, pluralist and problem-led approaches in schools and universities. And above all, to initiate, coordinate and publicise relevant research.
One central impetus for founding ASEER came from the Initiative for Better Economic Education, which was established informally in 2011. The idea of founding a dedicated Association arose in the course of discussions with researchers working on pluralism and problem-orientation in school and university education. We are very pleased that ASEER has already gained the support of numerous individuals beyond its founding membership. ASEER sees itself as an open network of academic researchers working on questions of socioeconomics and/or socioeconomic education. As a scientific society, ASEER will promote academic exchange, network research initiatives, and contribute to academic and education-related policy consultation. Institutionalised channels will systematically bring together socioeconomics sociology, teacher training, higher education didactics, and educational policy as they relate to education and training in the field of economics.
Over and above lending visibility to the network and its activities, ASEER will encourage theoretically driven, empirically grounded and scientifically and politically relevant education and research. To that end, the Association offers various options for participation and exchange:
- Workshops, colloquia, and seminars,
- Sections for specific disciplines and issues,
- Publication and promotion of relevant publications,
- Participation in policy consultation.
The Association was founded by more than a dozen academics at a meeting in Frankfurt am Main on 6 October 2016, and is run by its members. Working groups and sections will be set up at a networking meeting at the Akademie für Politische Bildung in Tutzing, Bavaria, on 17/18 March 2017. Anyone working in this field of teaching and/or research is welcome to join. Others may register as supporters. Further information and updates (in German) can be found on our website: http://soziooekonomie-bildung.eu/.