Archive for August 19th, 2010

A friend emails our old econ listserv:

I recently found out that I am going to be teaching a high school economics course this coming year. It is only a one semester course (we meet everday for approx. 45 min) and I am suppose to follow the Texas State Standards. In Texas, the course is officially called “Economics with an Emphasis on the Free Enterprise System and Its Benefits” (Yep, that is really the title…)
My hope, however, is to provide a more well-rounded view of Economics. Yet as I sit here and plan for the year, I am have trouble determining what that would look like exactly and what resources would be appropriate for high school students. (Not sure if they are ready for Marx’s Capital just yet).

Some helpful suggestions have arisen:

THE most important lesson you can teach students is that any economic theory (whether mainstream or non-mainstream) represents a different story about the economy – what it is, how it works, etc.  Neoclassical economics has its own story, as does Marxian economics (and post-Keynesian economics…

I used a lot of cartoons and videos (esp. from The Onion) to broach controversial topics (globalization, outsourcing, structural adjustment, development, etc.)…

Here’s where my friend needs some help (he’s already planning on using The Economic Conversation as a resource):

 The one thing I could really use help on is finding articles, blogs, political cartoons or excerpts from classic texts by the major authors throughout the history of economics.

The lesson plan, so far:

Anyways, the rough plan right now as I try to meet the state standards by teaching the neoclassical curriculum and by incorporating some alternative approaches.
Unit 1 – Intro to Economics: This is where I hope to make the case for why students should be interested in Economics. The plan right now is to just hit the ground running and present the “Free Enterprise System” as one of many stories that can be told about the economy. We will analyze and critique basic assumptions, economic goals of a society, etc.
Unit 2 – Overview of Micro (Supply and Demand and all that good stuff)
Unit 3 – Overview of Macro
Unit 4 – Application of Economics to the Real World and Alternatives to Capitalism: After developing a more in-depth understanding of Capitalism, we will use this last unit to critique the assumptions of Capitalism and to again consider potential alternatives, and imbed these considerations in a real-world context

Can we crowd-source a HS Econ syllabus? I’d like to find out! Any helpful suggestions in the comments/reposting of this would be appreciated.

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