Friday, 11 May 2012

Economics – Education – Ethics

When I decided to show this presentation to my husband, who's an economist, he looked at the title and told me "Why did you put Ethics? They won't understand. Any economist will tell you Ethics have nothing to do with Economy".
That's the moment I knew he's so not a true economist. Which is great, because he understood.
And my whole presentation dealt with this gap, the gap between the economist and the educator.

     But let's start from the beginning. This is another unexpected reflection coming from my TED experience. As I wrote in another post, the Transatlantic Educators Dialogue gave us the opportunity not only to discuss and share ideas, but also to actually work with colleagues of different countries in the EU and US.
As well as meeting on the moodle platform, we had weekly online sessions, in order to discuss specific topics connected with the educational world. Each of the sessions was led by a teacher or group of teachers who presented their experience on the topic, introducing different perspectives, giving info and opinions, and asking questions in order to start a debate.
     I led Week 7 - Immigration, with Gaelle Farout, from France. And it was a great collaboration, a great session... and a great "first time", for both of us, as speakers on the Elluminate!
     Then, some more weeks into the course, TED Coordinator, Mrs. Lucinda Morgan, asked if anyone was interested in volunteering to lead Week 9 - Economics. I obviously was! As usual, I like everything that's challenging (and to be honest, I had loved the thrill of the first talk!).
But here's the main reason why I decided to give it a go: we are living this huge crisis in Italy - and in most Southern Europe - and its impact on our everyday lives as teachers and persons is so heavy. In fact, we think (we obsess) about it most of the time. For the first time now, we understand that Economics are not just a set of theories, but something real and important - maybe way too much - something that can upset your life. Someone else's decision, following theories whose existence you don't even know, can change your life.

So here's my reflection on Economics. Sad sometimes, but still hopeful.
I thank all of my friends and colleagues, throughout Europe (and the world) who try to be educators even in a time of crisis - and who are helping the next generation to learn, dream and hope, despite the hard times.

Economics, Education, Ethics. How do the three Es relate to each other?

“But while they prate of economic laws, men and women are starving. We must lay hold of the fact that economic laws are not made by nature. They are made by human beings”

Franklin D. Roosevelt


  1. Hi Laura, I think you did a very good work with this presentation. I wish I had attended the elluminate session so that I could listen to your explanation. Anyway, I think your point of view is pretty clear, and I can see how the crisis affects (and has affected) education. As educators, we have to do our best to prevent Ethics from disappearing from the picture. But it won't be easy. Let's try together!

  2. Thank you Laura for sharing this interesting presentation & reflections. I'm planning to show these slides in my next seminar (of course keeping your name and credits). Let me know if it's ok for you.

  3. To tell the truth, it's not exact to say that ethics and economics are strangers to each other. They are not brothers, as well. There are economists that study State's involvement in economy, and that require a sort of "ethic". Redistribution politics mean you tax someone to give this money to someone else. In Europe, you usually help poor people (and I consider it to be etichally correct). But in the US, rich people pay less taxes than poor ones (percentage). Is it ethic? Well, it's economy...