CORE’s work is just beginning

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By Tim Phillips
Wed 4th March 2020 | Blog

Picture: Wendy Carlin opens the CORE Symposium at the Bank of England, 26 February 2020.

Three years on from the inception of the project that created Economy, Society, and Public Policy and Doing Economics, and six and a half years from the launch of the CORE Project, it’s time to ask ourselves two questions: what have we achieved and, if we are going to create economics education that is not just “for a changing world” (as our tagline promises), but also empowers more people to help change the world in future, what’s next?

That was the theme of a symposium that we held at the Bank of England on 26 February 2020. Titled “Economics Education for a Public Purpose” it had some familiar faces, but many new ones, many of whom had barely begun secondary education when CORE launched. Public purpose has motivated us from day one, and we think it shows in what we have achieved.

So, for those of you who couldn’t be there, here’s what we celebrated. Public purpose continues to provide the volunteers with energy and creativity, and our companion blog has a peek into the next iteration of CORE’s The Economy.

We did what we promised we would do …

In November 2013, we weren’t completely sure we could deliver “open access on-line resources, including ebook course material for students with interactive content including diagrams, data and videos”, as we confidently promised at the launch event. After all, no one else had succeeded, and at the time we had neither the content nor the technology to do it, just funding, ambition, and a lot of talented helpers.

Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist who had also spoken at our launch event, opened the event by pointing out that our project has delivered: it has been, he said, “At the core of the reset of the economics profession.”

The Nuffield Foundation provided the financial support we needed to develop ESPP and Doing Economics, written to bring the teaching and learning materials of CORE to a new audience of non-specialist students. Tim Gardam, Nuffield Foundation chief executive, told the symposium that we have succeeded in doing more than just delivering some textbooks. By “reframing the teaching of economics … CORE has redefined for us how we can support successful programmes for students,” he said.

… but we need to do more

As Haldane pointed out, CORE’s “work is not done”. How can we build on what we have done so far? Read our companion blog to find out what we have planned.