The course introduces students to the world of economic thinking. Students will begin to define economic concepts, understand why economists choose to view the world through a particular lens, and analyze the economic interactions of the people and businesses they observe in society. A primary goal is for students to become familiar with foundational market concepts such as scarcity, opportunity costs, comparative advantages and inflation. Students should then be able to appropriately apply their economic understanding to personal decisions, businesses activities and government policies. The course focuses mainly on microeconomics, but will also touch on some macroeconomic ideas.
The course will be very engaging, including group discussions and activities. Students will be expected to contribute to class activities in the live classroom or through the class discussion board. Students will also have weekly homework assignments, which will reinforce and expand upon the classroom discussions. This course serves as a prerequisite to a future AP Microeconomics course.
Here is a preview of some of the weekly topics:
– Scarcity, Resources, Opportunity Cost, Cost/Benefit Analysis
– Supply and Demand Shifts, Elasticity, Types of Goods
– Diminishing Returns, Allocation of Scare Goods, Specialization
– Trade in Competitive Markets, Transaction Costs
– Understanding Economic Institutions (Banks, Corporations, Cooperatives, Labor unions), Rules of the Game
– The Role of Government in the Economy (Taxes, Externalities, Regulations)
– Nature and Causes of Money (Valuation, Historical Development, Inflation)
– Comparing Economic Systems (Market, Command, Traditional, Mixed)
– International Trade and Economic Growth
– Stocks and Investment Options (with simulation stock buying opportunity)
There is an estimated 3-4 hours of work per week outside of the live class.
Who should enroll?
This class is designed for 8th-12th graders. The course is intended to fulfill the typical requirements for a half year high school level course.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
Quizzes will be multiple choice and are graded instantly. Assignments vary in form, with most requiring short answer responses to assess the student’s understanding of the information presented. Students should respond in complete sentences and demonstrate supportive reasoning for their answers. I can be reached via e-mail for questions. I try to respond to e-mails within 24 hours.
Parents are welcome to observe their child’s progress through the course. Questions from parents are also responded to in a timely fashion.