Letters extra: A level economics

9th February 2001 at 00:00
Economics maketh the man

As a teacher of economics, the article "It's economics stupid" ( TES , January 12) causes me some concern. The research which is the subject of the article was conducted some years ago and is therefore not necessarily of relevance to the specifications that many students are now studying. The research also failed to take into consideration the views of students studying economics through the Nuffield Economics and Business syllabus.

The suggestion that students will not be put off studying economics in Year 13 because of harsh marking by teachers at the end of Year 12 is clearly ridiculous since the overwhelming majority of Year 12 students will now have their grade determined by an awarding body when they sit the AS exams.

The number of students sitting the A-level Economics exam has undoubtedly declined and has been doing so for some time. For those of us who believe that economic understanding is important for a young person's appreciation of their role as a citizen, this is a cause for concern.

However, the extreme popularity of the subject in the 1980s was clearly a situation that could not be maintained as the choice of subjects available to most 16-year-olds increased. The rate of decline has been diminishing and it seems quite probable that the new AS specifications will result in an increase in the number of 16 and 17-year-olds studying the subject.

Caroline Loewenstein
Strode's College
High Street

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