Economics and Financial Literacy: Connecting Current Standards and Technology

According to Daisy Martin’s definition of historical thinking, the current Ohio Economics standards partially emphasize the claim-evidence connection aspect. Students learn, through these courses and standards, that Economic principles are grounded in theory and research and have been tested throughout generations and history. The claim-evidence connection in Economics and Financial Literacy courses allows students to analyze principles and concepts that have been validated and proven true over and over again through various time periods in history in cultures all over the world. Teachers following the Economics standards can also emphasize a multiple account perspective, as they challenge students to study the economies of countries around the world and examine how the various economies interact with one another on a global scale. Some teenagers don’t realize how their spending generates revenue for the economy not just within the United States, but all around the globe as well. Through the standards, students are encouraged to broaden their worldview and accommodate other perspectives into their ideas about economics and money. Ohio’s current Financial Literacy standards bridge these gaps in student understanding as they connect the concepts behind personal finance with the economies of the nation and the world as a whole, while also educating students in managing money and financial obligations to aid them in pursuing very lucrative and competitive career paths.

The Ohio Standards for high school Economics and Financial Literacy courses emphasize personal responsibility in conjunction with helping students gain an appreciation for how economies operate on a national and international scale. Within the standards, concepts such as scarcity, opportunity cost and capital are highlighted, in addition to ideas such as risk management and how to properly build credit. The goal of current Economics courses is to help high school students apply greater concepts of financial responsibility to their own lives, so that they become competent members of a global economy and make wise financial choices to help promote revenue. In a world of growing identity fraud, the current Financial Literacy standards also help educators teach their students how to protect their information from those who would wish to steal it. One of the most important sections of the standards emphasizes savings and investment, in which students learn how to prepare for possible economic hardship and how to put the money they earn into valuable stocks and market exchanges. These crucial life lessons not only help teach students how to be responsible with their income in their personal life, but can also aid them in future career choices as financial advisors or accountants.

The Federal Reserve has produced a website that helps educators connect the concepts of Economics and the current standards for these high school courses with technological resources, so that students can better understand how these principles relate to everyday life. Federal Reserve Education features games and simulations for students studying the principles of Economics, so that they can experience firsthand how financial decisions can impact not only their personal finances, but the economy as a whole as well. One game in particular, “Fed Chairman,” puts the student in the position of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve as they make decisions about the Federal Funds Rate and see how those decisions impact the economy. The student is faced with real-life economic crises and issues, and is given the task of keeping inflation and unemployment rates low in order to win the game and be “reappointed” as Chairman. Games like “Fed Chairman” allow students tangible experience in dealing with complex, but very real economic issues, and help them to understand the interconnectedness of decisions made by individuals and institutions alike. The Cleveland Federal Reserve Branch offers tours to classes in which students can learn more about how money is made and and how various economic factors such as inflation affect the national financial condition. These interactive tours allow students to connect the concepts they learn about in the classroom with the the actual institutions and structures of the federal economic system, so that these principles no longer seem archaic and distant, but rather very personal and influential. Teachers can also choose what is highlighted on their class tours, so that the information the students are presented with directly relates to the material they are studying in the classroom.

Check out some other great resources to help educators teaching Economics or Financial Literacy classes!

Check back soon for an interview with a local Financial Literacy teacher! As always, tweet your questions, comments and ideas to @ToriMcDonough22 or @SocialStudiesatCSU!

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