Smyth, John (1975) Some Reflections on the Teaching of Economics and Commerce in a Developing Country. The Journal of Economic Education, 7 (1). pp. 45-49. ISSN 0022-0485

The author, a teacher of economics and commercial subjects in Papua New Guinea which recently became independent, reports on the difficulties encountered in teaching these subjects in this developing country, where education of the western type is still associated in the minds of many with an aura of “cargo-cult” thinking. Other problems are the lack of textbooks in the language of the country, and the fact that the traditional beliefs of the majority of students run counter to principles of modern business and economics, making for a lack of even the most elementary economic understanding. Thus, the author believes, the transplanted course now being taught in Papua New Guinea cannot achieve the objective of providing basic economic understanding.

Mr. Smyth also suggests that the teacher “should be concerned with searching out those aspects of the traditional culture fhat can be used as ‘spring boards’ into a more complex study of the modem economy.”

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