Dr Danielle Guizzo (she/her)
Danielle is an Associate Professor in Economics Education and EDI Lead for the School of Economics, she was recently nominated by the University to apply for the Advance HE, National Teaching Fellowship scheme in 2024.
Teaching has always been my passion. One of my early childhood memories is playing with stuffed toys and dolls, pretending they were students, and I would lecture them using a small chalkboard.
As I grew older and started my undergraduate degree in Economics, I discovered my aspiration to become an academic – doing research, and expanding the knowledge frontier was important, yet I soon realised that the most impactful way to affect the real world and change someone’s life is through teaching.
I am part of the post-2008 Global Financial Crisis generation of economists, who saw the dangers of inadequate thinking about the economy and society. In 2015, I had the opportunity to spend a year abroad and carry out my doctoral research in the UK, and three things really struck me when I got a taste of how academia was in the Global North: Economics was a much narrower discipline from what I knew back home, how teaching was much less valued in comparison to research, and how male, white, and upper-class Economics was in the UK. I also saw the differences in how Economics was much less inclusive, plural, and democratic, particularly its open-mindedness to non-traditional structures, identities, and ways of life.
As a woman educated in a public university in the Global South, where economic challenges are part of your everyday life (inflation, poverty, inequalities, violence) being a social scientist means that you must leave your “ivory tower” and understand that reality. In my teaching, I was always determined to inspire my students and stimulate them to think differently when reflecting about their own realities and making a change. My interests in teaching and in Economics education grew to the point that it became part of my research and identity as an academic. I began to explore more Paulo Freire’s “critical pedagogy” and apply his principles in my pedagogical philosophy, empowering my students to think by themselves and reflect on their own position within society – also serving as a way to question the status quo in Economics.
My scholarly work focuses on the history and philosophy of Economics, aiming to understand how knowledge evolves in Economics, the power relations behind it, and how Economics can do a better social job in promoting diversity – not only of gender and identity, but theoretical view and geographical origin. At the University of Bristol, I feel honoured to be able to teach courses in the History of Economic Thought and Philosophy of Economics, in which students have the opportunity to reflect about how ideas are created (“history is written by the winners”), why that was the case (power, conflict, colonialism), and what are the impacts of economists thinking in a particular way. I stimulate them to develop their own research and co-create knowledge, empowering them to think differently. It is no surprise that most people have a very bad impression of what economists do, and little trust in what Economics can do for the world – so teaching our future economists differently is part of the change.