Category: Economics Primer

The Econ Primer is a must in today’s education.

The development of economic literacy must begin in the schools. Even young children are capable of learning basic economic concepts that help them understand their economic world. In the secondary years, that initial foundation can be expanded to include instruction in a broader set of economic ideas and concepts. This additional education gives students greater capacity to understand more complex personal or national economic issues.
The Econ Primer is for those who think that economics is too difficult a subject to be taught to children and youth, and that such instruction should wait until college. Nothing could be more incorrect. No one would even think of making such an argument for math or science education. Waiting until students are in college to teach economics is simply a matter of “too little and too late.” The majority of students end their formal education with secondary school, and even those students who continue their learning at a college or university may not take an economics course. The fact is that the best opportunity for economic education occurs before graduation from high school.

There are three essential ingredients for effective economic education in the schools. First, teachers must be knowledgeable about the subject and be able to help students learn how to use basic economic concepts to analyze personal and social issues. Second, good curriculum guides and instructional materials are needed that present economic content at an appropriate level for the student to understand. Third, economics must have a central place in the school curriculum—similar to math, science, history and language arts—so that substantial classroom time is devoted to economics instruction.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis