The Workbook for the New I.B. Economics Story

This story begins with the book that inspired me to write economics books. When I taught economics during the 1990s, I did not use textbooks very much as the ones I came across did not seem very interesting or student-friendly. However, when I started teaching in Montreal in the fall of 2000, this changed as the economics book I was expected to use was Economic Education by Brian Maddock (published by the Cooperative for the Development of Instructional Materials). It was a slim, simple student workbook, printed in black ink on white paper that nonetheless covered the Quebec economics curriculum wonderfully. What I really liked about the book was that it was complete, yet also clear and accessible. As a teacher, I could rely on the book to cover the basics which could then be supplemented with current articles and documentaries. It was a strong frame capable of supporting a potentially rich and diverse course.When I started teaching International Baccalaureate economics in Oman in 2005, I was expected to use a textbook that was unfortunately like the books I had used earlier in my career. While I would ask students to read it I did not use it in my teaching. I missed having a clear and simple book able to both support my teaching and my students’ learning.

As it is better to light a lamp than to curse the darkness, in the spring of 2010 in anticipation of a revised International Baccalaureate economics syllabus I decided to write a book that would meet my (and hopefully other teachers’) needs. The result was Workbook for the New I.B. Economics. The book is a clear, concise and affordable student workbook written to help students gain familiarity with the definitions, diagrams and concepts of economics in order to prepare them for higher-order learning tasks such as writing economic commentaries and evaluating economic policy decisions. Like Economic Education it is a slim and simple volume printed in black ink on white paper. It was published in April of 2011 and has been used by over 3000 I.B. economics students in countries around the globe.

One big advantage of producing consumable workbooks is that they give one the opportunity to engage in frequent revisions. The second edition of the book was published in the summer of 2013. For the second edition, only the exercises and the solutions key/teachers’ guide were printed as physical books while the supporting lessons were made available electronically. Other improvements were improved graphic design, additional exercises (including 4 lengthy sections of Paper 3-style quantitative questions) and some improvements to the text. In the years since its publication, it has been used by almost 2500 students worldwide.

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