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Think not calculate! Implementation of Felix Klein postulates in economic education with CAS software

Tomasz Kopczewski ()

No 2015-38, Working Papers from Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw

Abstract: For the last two decades, there have been many attempts to broadly introduce the Computer Algebra System (CAS) programs to teach economics. So far, none of these trials have reported significant success. The purpose of this article is to investigate the reasons why this software is still not commonly used tool in teaching economics. Paper is based on interdisciplinary approach. Experience of introducing CAS to teach advanced microeconomics is being confronted with philosophy of science, anthropology, history of mathematics, history of economic thought, education, etc. This leads to coherent new approach to the application of CAS to teach economics using tools of blended learning and m-learning, where the postulates of mathematics teaching reform presented in 1905 by Felix Klein are the core point. One of these postulates is to shift from laborious calculations to presentations of results in the functional form, what allows for the demonstration of complex relationships in simple graphical form. By using this approach, students can devote more time to evaluation of the reality of operation of theoretical models. Introduction of Felix Klein postulates improves significantly the tradeoff between quality and accessibility of this software for students and teachers. To improve the efficiency of using CAS in teaching, this paper presents tools created by the Author. One of those is to use language corpus analysis to isolate the most often appearing MAXIMA commands, what may simplify and accelerate the process of learning the programming language and syntax. Paper presents the Leontief (1935) Input-Output model as an example of using CAS in teaching microeconomics. This model is one of the most striking examples of the inadequacy of the teaching results obtained in relation to the effort of pen-and-paper calculations. Using CAS for this model is a qualitative change both in didactics as well can extend scientific research and theory applications.

Keywords: Computer Algebra Systems; economic education; digital revolution; Maxima; Felix Klein (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A23 C02 C60 D57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 44 pages
Date: 2015
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