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Dr. Gerda Kits, Clearing the way for Indigenous Voices in Economics

Currently, my research is focused on decolonizing present-day economics curriculum. Essentially, we are looking at how the way we currently teach economics and understand the economy is shaped by western and European perspectives, and then realizing that that is not the only way to view the world. For example, how we understand what a person is, what human nature is and what motivates a person is different in different cultures.

The goal is to try to bring some of those alternative insights from other cultures  into our understanding of the economy, as well as educating students on how colonialism has and continues to shape our economy. There’s currently no room in our textbooks or in our economics classrooms for other ways of understanding the world. Ultimately, it comes down to recognizing that we currently only see things from one perspective and making efforts to change. 

In trying to make this a reality, much of my work is centered on how this translates in the classroom. Because the economics textbooks that we use are completely shaped by western perspectives, this is something that needs to be addressed. This begs the following questions: what do we need to add? What do we need to take out? What do we need to do differently, and how do we teach our students that this is not the only way of understanding? That’s what is currently what I’m trying to figure out and then implement to give King’s students a well rounded understanding of economics.



King's Economics Professor, Dr. Gerda Kits

Researcher

Dr. Gerda Kits 

Education

PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Alberta

Field of Research 

Economics