Measuring Economic UnderstandingMeasuring Economic Understanding

The Foundation has a special interest in finding out what kind of economic education works best. From a contemporary and historical perspective, the Foundation has sponsored a variety of projects that measure economic understanding, and evaluates economic literacy projects.

Here are a few programs or this type we have funded:

Long Term Effects of Economics Learning

The Purdue Center for Economic Education in conjunction with several other major research universities undertook a study supported by the Foundation to determine how much an economic undergraduate degree impacts one’s life. By surveying different groups of graduates who majored in economics, business and other fields and comparing the results, the research hoped to determine what, if any part, of an economics undergraduate program adds to decision-making capabilities of adults.

From Marx to Markets

Economic teachers at the University of Nebraska and Purdue University received funding to publish From Marx to Markets, a book that looked at the changes that have taken place in economic instruction in the former Soviet Union since its break-up. The book examines the transformation of the former Soviet Union and the significant changes in economics instruction at major universities in the former Eastern Block.

Improving Student Assement in Economics Courses

Professors William Walstad and Jamie Wagner have designed a better way to measure actual student learning using the Test of Understanding in College Economic Understanding (TUCE). This nationally normed, multiple choice test serves as the basis for evaluating effective teaching in introductory college level economics courses.  Using a value added, rather than aggregate change scores, the approach employs a more valid technique for evaluating teaching and learning. Instructors can enter their classes' pretest and posttest TUCE scores on an Excel spreadship and determine how their student's scored relative to others.