Economics

Incorporating Economics in the Elementary School Curriculum

ohagan Incorporating Economics in the Elementary School CurriculumBy Kathleen O’Hagan, Special Representative at the UFT, Former 4th Grade Teacher, 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Teaching Champion Awardee

Today’s public schools are tasked with so much to teach that it isn’t surprising that many essential skills are over-looked with the current focus on reading and math scores and standardized tests. What is often missed in this narrow focus is the impact that these other essential skills can have on reading and math instruction. The curriculum in the elementary school where I taught was of both high rigor and high caliber but it neglected economics to concentrate on reading and math. With this in mind, I recognized the need to bring this subject to our students, the majority of whom were English Language Learners (ELLs) or former ELLs. After the economy was hit hard in 2008, I wanted my students to learn more about saving for their futures and the many long-term benefits, versus the costs, of college but I didn’t know how to bring this instruction into my elementary classroom.

OHagan in the Classroom1 300x167 Incorporating Economics in the Elementary School CurriculumThe Council for Economic Education showed me how to incorporate these ideas into my classroom. It began when I took their course on how to create a mini-economy. With this training, I was able to make our class a place where students learned (as part of their math curriculum) how to keep bank accounts, act as bankers and store clerks, open pencil-loaning businesses, and also experience the real-life issues of rent, tickets, co-payments, unexpected expenses and price inflation. Then in the next year, my next class moved beyond just being consumers in a mini-economy to being producers by utilizing a three-dimensional printer to create the store stock and in the process began to investigate the issues of supply and demand in their mini-economy. Imagine their excitement when they were featured in an article about their mini-economy, not just the first class, but two classes, two years in a row! Talk about underscoring the importance of the economics they were learning!

Not surprisingly, the students’ reaction to this instruction was enthusiastic and they were utterly engaged. What was surprising was the powerful response from the parents who were delighted to have their students learning economic vocabulary such as deposit, withdrawal, expenses, goods, consumer, etc. and the real-life experiences of keeping a financial log and having to learn about delayed gratification if they wanted to save up their money for larger purchases in the future.

In addition to all of this economic instruction, we eventually added the element of debate, around economic topics which included: “Should the Penny Stick Around?” and in so doing, incorporated elements of reading and writing. My students learned the importance of research, interviews, and public speaking in addition to developing an understanding of the need to save for the future, but not just any future, THEIR future. The mini-economy was a success at getting even the most reluctant student out of the sidelines of learning and into the heat of debate. For example, my most reluctant writer would always have his essay ready so that he could be on one side of the debate when it was time to start talking about economic issues.

The mini-economy even outgrew our classroom and spread to other classes on the grade, including inter-visitations for debates. Most importantly, it empowered the students to feel confident about making financial decisions, understanding the importance of saving, and it even made the most reticent students outspoken about the importance of economics in their life. Economics instruction ultimately became embedded in the very math and reading skills that originally seemed to have no room for anything more and in so doing, equipped my students with the traditional skills taught as well as essential economic skills.

POSTED: April 17, 2015 | BY: Annamarie Cerreta | TAGS: , , , , ,

Council for Economic Education Honors Dr. Annamaria Lusardi with 2014 William A. Forbes Public Awareness Award

Financial Literacy Pioneer Recognized for Extraordinary Work to Advance Awareness of Economic and Financial Education

WASHINGTON, DC (January 15, 2014) The Council for Economic Education is delighted to announce that Prof. Annamaria Lusardi of George Washington University (GW) will be honored with the 2014 William A. Forbes Public Awareness Award, recognizing her extraordinary work to advance public awareness of the importance of economic and financial education.

A pioneer in the study of financial literacy, Prof. Lusardi is widely renowned for her Annamaria Lusardi Forbes Award 300x198 Council for Economic Education Honors Dr. Annamaria Lusardi with 2014 William A. Forbes Public Awareness Awardextraordinary contributions to the field. Among her numerous achievements, she designeda measurement of financial literacy that has been used in national surveys around the world, while her theoretical and empirical work has helped to make a compelling case for the cost and consequences of financial illiteracy. She has published many papers and two books on the topic of financial literacy and also edited special issues on financial literacy for the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance andNumeracy.           Read more…

POSTED: January 26, 2015 | BY: John Jones | TAGS: , , , , , , , ,

Teaching Opportunity – January 2015

download teaching opportunity january 2015 Teaching Opportunity   January 2015

In This Issue:

  • 2015 Call for Annual Conference Proposals
  • 2 New Math in the Real World Lessons Now Available
  • AP Micro and AP Macro Economics Bundle: Special Discount
  • Your Teaching Has An Impact!
  • 3 Demonstration Videos for HS Economics
  • This Day in Economic History

Read more…

POSTED: January 26, 2015 | BY: John Jones | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Look Back at the 2014 Annual Conference

The Council for Economic Education’s 2014 Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas was a rousing success with 475 educators attending the Conference. Attendees included instructors from eight countries, 200 new attendees, and 250 K-12 teachers from 34 states.

Conference goers were able to hear talks from top economists such as Richard W. Fisher and Alan B. Krueger. Fisher, the President and Chief Executive Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, spoke at the Teacher Recognition Luncheon on the importance of education and his perspective on the robust growth of regional economies. Later that day, Krueger, a Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at the Wilson School at Princeton University, spoke to attendees about the financial crisis of 2008-09 through the lens of behavioral economics.

Read more…

POSTED: January 21, 2015 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , , , ,

CEE Launches Math in the Real World

Math in the Real World CEE Launches Math in the Real WorldThe Council for Economic Education has launched its newest resource: Math in the Real World. Math in the Real World contains interdisciplinary lessons aimed at teaching personal finance and economic concepts, all in the context of math lessons.

Math in the Real World includes lessons that range from “Break-Even Analysis” and “Profit Maximization” to lessons on payday loan expenses and building good credit.

Read more…

POSTED: December 8, 2014 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CEE Offers Free Online Assessment Center

online assessment center large CEE Offers Free Online Assessment Center

The Council for Economic Education is now offering the Online Assessment Center. The OAC is a free online resource that provides teachers with an easy and efficient way of measuring their students’ academic progress. It allows teachers to track real-time data on their students’ understanding of economic and financial concepts.
Read more…

POSTED: December 1, 2014 | BY: kwilliams | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

More from the CEE