Interview with Prof. Asahi Noguchi on Economic Education
Interviewee: Prof. Asahi Noguchi (Professor, Senshu University)
On December 15, I had a talk with Senshu University Professor Asahi
Noguchi at my favorite place near Shinjuku-gyoenmae, where I often meet
Prof. Noguchi has written a number of introductory economics books for general audience and, in that connection, he has been asked by Tokyo Metropolitan University for the last couple of years to teach an economics seminar on the university-sponsored program, “Tokyo Mirai Juku” for those high school students who are recommended by their schools as part of their entrance examination exercises.
Prof. Noguchi says that teaching such students is very satisfying himself with good results. This is not only due to the fact that those students are selected ones with high motivation, but also due to the way the seminar is organized and conducted as follows:
(1) In the initial lecture part, such introductory books as Prof. Noguchi’s book “Understanding Basic Economics From Level Zero Up” (2002) are used as textbooks to motivate students.
(2) Students are told to form small groups, and find and study their group topics (for example, the role of government, social security and taxes, fiscal and monetary policy, deflation, etc.) for their class presentation.
(3) They are advised and supported by an excellent assistant who used to be a school teacher with good understanding of high school students.
These may be helpful in teaching economics to high school students in general, but it would not be easy to motivate those who are not interested in economic issues in the first place. Prof. Noguchi suggested that one idea might be to start with such commonly interested issues as “taxes,” and go on to take up related problems such as “public finance and social security issues,” which every citizen should be aware of.
Noguchi, Asahi “Understanding Basic Economics From Level Zero Up” (Zero kara wakaru keizai no kihon), Kodansha, 2002:
Prof. Asahi Noguchi’s Authored Books:
For a Japanese version of this report, see the following: