If I can teach children to count, they will never be shortchanged. If I can teach them to save, they will never be poor.
In elementary school, children learn to count by putting pennies, one at a time, into a piggy bank. That’s arithmetic. If you then allow the child to open the piggy bank and buy an ice cream cone with the money, that’s economic education. Sound over simplified? It’s not. Economic education is about money. How it works, why it works, how it is exchanged and the implications of having, and not having, money.
Teaching economic education is just as simple. As an educator, you don’t have to be an economics whiz. You don’t have to hold a Masters in Accounting. What you do have to have is a sense of adventure and a love for seeing a light of understanding suddenly dawn in the eyes of a student. In fact, once your students understand that compound interest can mean three extra cookies at snack time or ten fewer questions on the final exam, you’ll be hard pressed to keep them from clamoring for more.
Applying economic principles to every area of teaching is also a breeze. Anything you can count, anything you can earn or lose, can be used to teach the principles of economics. If you’re a basketball coach, you can teach your players the impact of money flow by running a practice session with two fewer basketballs. Due to the shortage, are perfectly able players standing around with nothing to do? What are the implications? Both you, and your students, will soon find economic education impacts every aspect of learning - even basketball.
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