The Four Lenses

Four Lenses applied to Economics Education

Version 1.0 (September 2020)



As a result of one of the workshops offered here, we have written a series of blogs in which we apply the four lenses to economics.


Why use it? 

What we would like to achieve, is that the four lenses, or 4-part framework so you like, becomes part of the IB’s (or any other exam board's) “accepted, well-defined criteria and mark schemes”, so that students are allowed, even encouraged, to use them in the exam’s essay questions. This would be a natural way for teachers to include the doughnut model in their courses, since students would be rewarded for using the four-lenses framework on “evaluate”-type questions.


Who is it for?

(Economics) teachers


How long does it take?

This depends on the topic and the intensity of the discussion.


How many people is it for?

 Students can use this tool, after being introduced to it, on their own, in preparation of "evaluate"-type questions.
Alternatively, teachers could use the tool in a classroom conversation.


What materials do you need?

 You do not need any particular materials. You can divide your white- or blackboard in four lenses.


What does the facilitator need to know or be able to do?

When you plan to use the four lenses in a classroom conversation, it is advised to come prepared. We plan to add some dossiers around some examples on our website Should you have any ideas, please let us know.



Many thanks to Jennifer Brandsberg-Engelmann for introducing the tool, reviewing the posts, and making some much appreciated contributions.



We hope the application of the four lenses will benefit you and your students, and we would love to hear your stories.

Summary Image by analogicus from Pixabay 









    Sílvia de Sousa

    Full Sutton, England, United Kingdom

    Orthodox Economics (BLARGH!) + Environmental Economics (HUM?) + Social Policy (Nearly!) = Holistic (MAYBE!) => Doughnuts (HURRAH!)

    Henny van Dongen

    Evergem, Vlaanderen, Belgium

    I hope to inspire and be inspired by the DEAL community.

    Shaktari Belew

    Ashland, Oregon, United States of America

    To contribute my Prosocial, Transition Movement, Open Space, Biomimicry, Systems Design, Author, Artist skills to network & learn.

    Tammi Sinha

    Southampton, England, United Kingdom

    love the doughnut economics approach.


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