Scaffolding as a teaching and learning strategy

With several comprehensive I.B. economics textbooks available from major publishers, it is easy to question the place of a book like ‘Workbook for the New I.B. Economics’ (in both editions) in the educational ecosystem.

However, I have had an interesting series of conversations recently with a teacher whose students have both the workbook and a textbook. His opinion, based upon observing his own classes, is that the workbook gives students a more accessible introduction to the course than a standard textbook.

This feedback made me very happy, and it accords with my own experience using the book. I have had many students tell me that the vivid language and examples in the book really helped them gain a solid understanding of the course.

However, as we all know, understanding a course and doing well on an exam are not one and the same. I would be the first person to recommend that student also use a quality study guide or textbook to help them master the course.

However, the sequence matters. If a student already has a fundamental understanding of economics they will not be overwhelmed by the detail in a more comprehensive textbook. On the other hand, I have seen students, especially weaker students, become confused and demoralized by the inaccessibility of some of the more exhaustive textbooks.

So, if you think your students would benefit from a book that allows them to scaffold their learning from understanding important principles towards mastering the fine details, feel free to download and have a look at the free online textbook or get in touch by email.

All the best for a great year ahead.

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Best wishes for the summer

As the school year (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) screams to a close, please accept my best wishes for a smooth ending and a restful and relaxing vacation.

If you wish to order copies of Workbook for the New I.B. Economics for next academic year, please do not hesitate to do so. The earlier I get the orders in, the earlier I can get them out and on their way.

Again, while I am happy to fill orders directly {just send an email to with your address, the number of copies you desire, and your preferred method of payment (cheque or credit card)}, I am also happy to direct you to local distributors. If you are in the U.K. or in Europe, I would encourage you to order from Richard Heath’s I.B. Bookshop. If you are in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world, I am happy to direct you to I.B. Source. You may also wish to order the book from, especially for single copies.

The book is available in two formats. The first edition book incorporates both the lessons and the exercises, while the second edition contains only exercises, the lessons being freely available online as a PDF. To download the PDF, please go to the page above entitled ‘The Second Edition’ or my page at

As the current syllabus is now scheduled to be in place for longer than the customary 7 years, if you have not yet purchased a class set of the books for your students I would encourage you to do so. I use the book myself and I have had a great deal of success (over half of last year’s cohort of 50 students earned a ‘6’ or a ‘7’) using it as the daily textbook/ workbook along with a quality study guide to help students prepare for exams.

Finally, as I haven’t updated my site for a while, I invite you to read my latest articles Conservative Renaissance and Cheques that can never be cashed on the Mises Canada website or on the page above entitled “Articles.”

Thank you for your continued patronage and again, all the best for a wonderful vacation.

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Happy New Year!

As we move into 2017, I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year.

For those who may not have heard, the current syllabus has been extended to 9 years, so students starting the diploma programme both this coming academic year (August 2017 – exams May 2019) AND the subsequent two years (August 2018 – exams May 2020 and August 2019 – exams May 2021) will be taking the current course for which the book was written.

Personally I have hit upon a very good combination of books that my own students have found very useful. For day-to-day work I use my own workbook and online lessons. However, to support mastery of the material I have been ordering Ellie Tragakes’  study guide, I.B. Economics in a Nutshell, for my students as well. The books have very different styles and this, I think, is why they work so well together. While my own book helps develop an understanding of principles, which is essential as a first step, Ellie’s book is wonderful at listing and ordering the course material in a way that is comprehensive yet concise. Happily, the the two books together cost about the same amount as a single textbook from one of the big publishers.

Lastly, if you would like to read my most current articles, Monetary Pollution and Hypernormalisation, please go to the articles page here.

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Student book/Teachers’ guide inspection sets now available

As we move into a new school year, I would like to invite schools which have not already purchased class sets of Workbook for the New I.B. Economics, 2nd Edition, Exercises to consider purchasing inspection sets of one copy along with one teachers’ guide.

Up to this point, teachers’ guides have only been sold along with class sets of the book, but after taking inventory this past month, I am confident that I have enough teachers’ guides to consider offering them to schools interested in using the book as a teacher resource.

For North American schools, I am happy to send the books myself, while for international orders I would ask that you place your orders with Richard Heath’s IB Bookshop in the U.K.

Thank you and all the best for a rewarding academic year.

P.S. – Please feel free to have a look at my recent articles entitled School Closures and The Tragic Consequences of Success here.

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If you got a postcard…

…thank you for coming by for a visit. Please feel free to have a look around the site. Information related to the 2nd edition of the book is found on the page listed above entitled “The Second Edition.”

The first edition of the book (published in April, 2011) was also written for the current syllabus and might be more appropriate for schools where students do not have laptops or tablets with which to access the online lessons that support the second edition exercise book.

One last thing that I did not put on the postcard which I would like to make people aware of is the possibility of ordering the book through International Schools Services (I.S.S.). I have found both I.S.S. and Richard Heath’s IB Bookshop to be excellent distributors and I would encourage schools to use their services. Of course, it is also possible to order books directly by emailing me at

Thank you again for visiting, and please accept my best wishes as you prepare your students for their exams in May.


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Welcome to 2016!

Wow! As the current syllabus came into force in August 2011, we are now almost five-sevenths of the way through (as the new syllabus will start being taught in August 2018, just over two and a half years from now).

Having totted up my yearly sales figures and imputed my inventory, I am pleased to announce that I am in good shape to keep customers in books for the next couple of years as I have about 800 copies of each of the first and second edition books on hand.

One thing that has pleased me this year has been a revival in sales of the first edition book. Many students find a book where the lessons are printed right beside the exercises to be easier to use, which is something I will keep in mind when I update the book for 2018.

Anyway, thank you for your support in 2015 and best wishes for a happy and fulfilling new year.

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Congratulations to all those who wrote the November exams

I hope you all have a well-deserved break and enjoy some fine summer weather. Schools interested in ordering copies of the book for the next academic year starting in January are asked to let me know by late December to ensure timely delivery.

I would like to here also remind people that Workbook for the New I.B. Economics, 2nd Edition, is available from Pronin IB in Australia and from Richard Heath’s IB Bookshop in the UK. If you are, as a school, ordering other books from these vendors it is an easy thing to add some copies of this book to your order.

Finally, if you are interested in some seasonal economics writing, I bring to your attention the following article which ran on the website on October 30th and in the Pembroke Daily Observer on October 31st:

Trick and Treat

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As summer holidays wind down…

…and our thoughts return, perhaps reluctantly, to the school year ahead, I would like to ask that if you have not yet ordered books for September that you do so soon as I would like to send out final orders in the next week or ten days.

I would also like to direct your attention to a couple of articles which were published over the last couple of months. Below please find the links to them on the Mises Canada website:

All the best for a great start to the new year.

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Good luck with the exams!

As we wind down the clock towards the May exams, I would like to wish you and your students all the best. I  have to say, though, that I miss the old exam structure, especially the data response paper that covered the entire syllabus. Ah well…

You may notice that I have finally changed my banner background to reflect my current location. I moved to Abu Dhabi last August and am happy to be back in the Gulf after three years in Canada.

However, while I have moved to the U.A.E. I am still writing articles for my local paper in Canada, the Pembroke Daily Observer. My most recent article, entitled “Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation” which looks at the COMER lawsuit against the Bank of Canada and the recent troubles in Ukraine, can be viewed here:

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Wow – it is almost May already!

If you are like me, you are in the thick of revision with your IB2 students preparing them for their exams in May. If you are using the book, I encourage you to direct your students to download the solutions to the Paper 3-style questions using the link at the top of the page of selected solutions near the end of the book.

If you are planning on ordering books for next year, feel free to send me an email listing the number of books you require, the address to which you would like them sent and your preference as to method of payment. As I would like to send my overseas orders in July, I would appreciate receiving orders before that time. Again, if you prefer, you may also order the book through a number of distributors, most notably Richard Heath’s I.B. Bookshop in the U.K. and in the U.S.

Lastly, I would like to share my latest article, entitled “Time For Some Mattress Padding” which was written for publication in the Pembroke Daily Observer and then picked up by the Mises Canada website and from there, much to my delight, by Zerohedge.

All the best as you move your students towards success in their exams.

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