The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Knowledge Creation for Post-Graduate Studies: Pluralism and Creativity in Teaching through Curriculum Disruption

Kuat Akizhanov, M. Narikbayev KazGUU University (Kazakhstan)


Knowledge creation and its interpretation is one of the fundamental epistemic values and skills that students need to acquire. Yet, curriculum in many social science disciplines of the post-Soviet countries is unchallenged and continues to deliver one-sided and very often orthodox theoretical concepts about various social phenomena. This is especially the case in economics disciplines where only the mainstream (neoclassical) economics methods and theories are taught. This study aims to contribute to the debate on the benefits of a pluralist curriculum in teaching economics that makes better educated and happier students (Mearman et al., 2011). In line with the Post Autistic Economics movement (Fullbrook, 2003) and Mignolo’s (2009) notion of “epistemic disobedience”, the study investigates the causes of this narrow-minded approach to delivering teaching disciplines related to economic management. The specific objective of this study is to explore what kind of barriers to the pluralist approach to economics education exist in economics departments of the Kazakhstani universities. Apart from purely “technical” reasons such as lack of qualified economists who focus on heterodox economic concepts this study will argue that heterodoxy and pluralism in economics education more broadly is out of the current public agenda in many countries of the former socialist block. Neoliberal ideology that currently governs the organisational processes of the Kazakhstani universities also define the content of the economics curriculum. The study of curriculars of the several economics and social science departments of the Kazakhstani universities shows that they ensure indoctrination of a particular (pro-market) view (Hobsbawm, 2011). This evidence shows that most of the post-Soviet universities engage in business of “manufacturing” technocrats who do not possess essential skills of understanding of real-world issues and who are expected to serve preserving the status quo. 

Keywords: pluralism, heterodoxy, teaching economics.


  • Hobsbawm, E. (2011). On history. Hachette UK.
  • Fullbrook, E. (Ed.). (2003). The Crisis in Economics: the post-autistic economics movement: the first 600 days. London: Routledge.
  • Mearman, A., Wakeley, T., Shoib, G., & Webber, D. (2011). Does pluralism in economics education make better educated, happier students? A qualitative analysis. International Review of Economics Education, 10(2), 50-62.
  • Mignolo, W.D. (2009). Epistemic disobedience, independent thought and decolonial freedom. Theory, culture & society, 26(7-8), pp.159-181. 

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