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Teaching Economics HIS 420 Spring 2011 Scott Fenwick

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Economics HIS 420 Spring 2011 Scott Fenwick"— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Economics HIS 420 Spring 2011 Scott Fenwick

2 UIC’s Center for Economic Education Dr. Helen Roberts - Certificate for Teaching Economics tml tml

3 The Survey… #1

4 The Survey… Please elaborate on your official and unofficial economics education. What, if anything, do you think that your experience can help you bring to an economics classroom? Probably nothing. I'm not really sure if my academic experience in economics would help much beyond the recognition of a few common terms. I think everyone has some experience in real world applications but the theory behind them still needs to be properly taught and explained, and I think I come up short. I successfully budget my income and manage my accounts. This will bring a real life application to my teaching. My college courses give me the background knowledge I will need to teach economics. I was raised in a neighborhood with many at-risk youths who found alternative forms of income. I have some knowledge of the "street economy".

5 The Survey… I have a general understanding of economics because I study history and from being in the "real world" for a few years after college. Even after taking two college courses I still do not have a firm grasp of economics. I have taken beginner and intermediate economics classes as an undergraduate and I am near completing a minor in economics. I studied economics at my own leisure and I believe this experience will be valuable in an economics classroom. Economics is everywhere. They are the things we buy we demand. In history, events were driven by economics as well. We can relate it by the simple things we demand, such as gas, and the actual supply that there is and compare it to things in history so we can better understand it.

6 The Survey…



9 Think back to the first few sessions of HIS 420. You contemplated and discussed the philosophical underpinnings and purpose of teaching social studies in America. You considered the notion that our profession can be a vehicle for building "good" citizens. How does an economics education fit in to this conversation, this idea?

10 The Survey… They can use economics to make better decision in their lives. For Example, the won't fall prey to scam artist trying to rip them off and they will shop for the better deal I think it can to a certain extent. We don't want our students going out and being ignorant of the way economics works since it is going to become a major thing in their lives as they grow up. They are going to have to continually interact with it, and we could provide them with some basic knowledge so they're not going out there blind. An understanding of how our economy works is essential for citizens to understand how the world works. People need to be educated about how they spend their money and how the government spends its money to become good educated citizens. Economics teaches students to be cognizant of their place in society, to learn how their behavior, and others's behavior affects them; to think beyond foreseen consequences. I think it may fit in to the conversation, but I don't feel that the purpose of teaching any social studies with the exception of maybe government are a vehicle for building "good" citizens.

11 The Survey… It fits into this idea because "good" citizens make knowledgeable decision about consumption of goods and services provided. It is also good to know how the government is handling/regulating the economy and the impact that has on the individual. It does fit into being good citizens because knowing economics makes you understanding more about what goes on in Washington, what goes on in terms of your personal finances, and what is ethical when it comes to economic principles. i.e. banks selling people morgages that were faulty is unethical I have no idea. Students need to know economics in order to know how the economy and markets work. Economics affects the life of everyone. Good citizens need to know economics in order to see the benefits or hazards of political policies. In economics you discuss the power of money, supply and demand amongst the many tols that politicians, business people and the working class have to struggle with on a daily basis. In this course you have the power to speak about the many "good" things that an individual can do to help our economy. I would assume the things we demand, to be conscious about it. My example still is gas and how much we depend on it. I think emphasizing examples like this show the type of citizens that we are and if we're indeed "good“.

12 The Survey… In your opinion, what are the three most important concepts a student should learn in an economics class? #1 how it matters in life Supply and Demand how to Budget retail price does not equal market equilibrium price Government's role in Economics Trade Credit/Debt on Macroeconomic Scale ? Supply and Demand supply/demand Law of supply and demand

13 The Survey… #2 Life Law of diminishing marginal returns Monetary Policy GDP How the banking system works DON'T ever ignore your opportunity cost Inflation and Deflation Supply and demand Interest Rates and how they work ? Scarcity of resources Money Law of comparative advantage

14 The Survey… #3 Life Opportunity cost Opportunity Cost Appreciation and Depreciation of Currency How the credit system works ignore your sunk costs Economic Institutions Monetary policy Theory - Why everyone in American loves John Smith and why this isnt the only theory ? Competition Trade If things are really worth buying

15 High School Test of Economic Literacy This assessment conforms to national standards. You would be expected to pass this test in order to graduate from some public high schools in the United States.

16 Inside Job (2010) by Charles Ferguson Academy Award Winner Best Documentary Film

17 Lunchroom Conversation Students and teacher watch (or read) Teacher give a prompt or poses a question Students talk to each other Teacher monitors (and tries not to interrupt)

18 Answer Key…How did you do? 1. B21. B 2. C22. C 3. B23. C 4. D24. B 5. B25. D 6. C26. A 7. D27. A 8. C28. B 9. A29. C 10. A30. B 11. C31. D 12. D32. C 13. A33. A 14. D34. D 15. C35. B 16. B36. A 17. A37. C 18. D38. B 19. A39. B 20. D40. C

19 Four Approaches to Teaching Economics Financial Literacy Historical/Philosophical Foundations of Economics Microeconomic Principles Macroeconomic Principles

20 Financial Literacy Dialogue with a Text: “Greater Fools” by James Surowiecki, writer of The New Yorker’s Financial Page 0/07/05/100705ta_talk_surowiecki

21 Financial Literacy National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) High School Financial Planning Program Council for Economic Education’s Financial Fitness for Life

22 Historical/Philosophical Foundations of Economics Why? Because students need context in order to better understand abstract ideas and phenomena. How? Economic History, Biography, Primary Documents

23 Who are these guys?

24 Historical/Philosophical Foundations Lesson Plans NCEE Lesson Plans bin/nsearch?catalog=ncee&.autodone=htt p:// l&query=history&x=0&y=0 Scott’s Lesson Plans http://scottfenwickteachingeconomics.wikisp

25 Historical/Philosophical Foundations of Economics New Ideas From Dead Economists by Todd G. Buchholz The Worldly Philosophers by Robert L. Heilbroner

26 Historical/Philosophical Foundations of Economics Lords of Finance by Liaquat Ahamed A Farewell to Alms by Gregory Clark

27 Historical/Philosophical Foundations of Economics The Literary Book of Economics by M. Watts

28 Historical/Philosophical Foundations of Economics Examples of Primary Documents: –The Muqaddimah by I. Khaldun –The Wealth of Nations by A. Smith –An Essay on the Principle of Population by T. Malthus –Das Kapital by K. Marx –Principles of Economics by A. Marshall –The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by J.M. Keynes –Economic Organization of a P.O.W. Camp by R. A. Radford

29 Historical/Philosophical Foundations of Economics Fear the Boom and Bust: John Maynard Keynes vs. Friedrich August Von Hayek o-Sk

30 Microeconomic Principles Choice, Trade-offs & Decision Making Opportunity Cost & Comparative Advantage Supply & Demand Consumer & Producer Surplus Elasticity Taxes Consumer Preference – Utility Production Decisions Market Structures

31 Microeconomic Principles -Photo Elicitation Activity- Introduction to Economic Principles: Essential Concepts

32 Macroeconomic Principles Gains From International Trade Aggregate Supply & Demand GDP: Measuring Production and Income Unemployment & Inflation Economic Growth & Business Cycles Monetary Policy Fiscal Policy Globalization & the International Financial System

33 NCEE Lesson Plans Adam Smith and the Market Economy The Decline of Spain The Constitution: Ground Rules for the Economy Growth after World War II

34 When Income Grows, Who Gains? Economic Policy Institute’s “State of Working America” project

35 Aftershock by Robert Reich p?storyId=130189031

36 Important Resources NCEE’s Virtual Economics DVD National Council on Economics Education The Federal Reserve’s Educational Materials – =5414555&CFTOKEN=88536688 =5414555&CFTOKEN=88536688 –

37 Teaching Economics Wikispace http://scottfenwickteachingeconomics.wikispaces.c om/What's+New%3F Your teaching ideas using its content? Please send me an e-mail at: I will compile the ideas and forward them to you all via Julie.

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