Students’ attitudes towards economics as well as their knowledge of economics before and after taking a college introductory economics class is examined using standardized multiple choice economics knowledge and attitude questions. Prior knowledge of economics, having a bank account, and other biographical information are used to hold constant many factors influencing pre/post performance in an economics class. Students who gained in economics knowledge appear to have a more negative attitude towards the subject compared to students who exhibited no knowledge gained. Prior experience in or outside of high school appear to have little impact on knowledge gain or attitude though the beginning of the semester knowledge of economics is important. Results are mixed but show a clear need to improve attitudinal change of students and the pedagogical knowledge of prospective teachers.
— Gregory Brock, Student Attitudes and Knowledge Change in an Introductory College Economics Course (abstract)
(via Peter Dorman)