Key competencies, complex systems thinking, and economics education for sustainability

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The concept of key competencies is an important element of education for sustainability. The cornerstone of key competencies is complex systems thinking. Most who argue for the integration of key competencies into various learning processes also suggest that such integration requires critical reflection on traditional paradigms in various disciplines. This article examines the ramifications of such integration as it pertains to economics. It is argued that key competencies can be learned by studying and applying Peter Söderbaum's institutional ecological economics because it is based on complex systems thinking. It is also argued that traditional neoclassical environmental economics is not suited for the task because it is based on simple systems thinking. The article concludes with some thoughts regarding how case studies can be used to teach key competencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103 - 117
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal for Pluralism and Economics Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


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