Course content will focus on a comparison of major world economic systems, the American economic system and institutions and personal finances. This course is required for graduation.
Unit 1: Economic Reasoning: Thinking Like and Economist
Economics is the study of scares resources that have alternative uses. To understand economics, our students need to begin to think like economists. This requires reexamining the way they think about everything from “costs” to incentives. In this unit students will be exposed the core economic concepts and tools such as Adam Smith’s invisible hand and the production possibilities frontier. This will create a foundation from which students will build their knowledge of economics and from that a better understanding of how to insure their own financial success in life.
Unit 2: Market Forces, Competition & Market Structures
Beside the existence of scarcity, no concept is more central to understanding economics than the function of supply and demand in markets. In this unit students will learn what markets are and what it is about markets that make them an efficient way to allocate scarce resources. Students will learn the various factors that affect the demand and supply of products, the essential role prices play in markets, and some introduction to how a market can fail and what role the government plays in that market failure.
The amount of competition in a market has major effects on the products that market provides and on the behavior of business operating in it. In this unit, students will learn about the various market structures from perfectly competitive markets to monopolies. They will learn more about role of government in response to market failures created by a lack of competition such as price fixing and wage depreciation.
Unit 3: Economic Measurements and the National Economy
Macroeconomics is about studying the economy as a whole and is primarily concerned with matters such as economic growth. This unit is designed to provide students with a understanding of how GDP, inflation, an unemployment are used to assess the overall health of the United States economy. Along with these concepts, student will build on their understanding of supply and demand to learn how aggregate demand and aggregate supply are used to further assess the status of the United States economy.
Once economic conditions for a nation have been determined, it is important for the government and the central bank to decide on what, if any, action to take . In this unit, students will learn about the means by which the government is theoretically able to correct for national economic problems such as recessions and high inflation.
Unit 4: Global Economics
One core economic concepts is that individuals and nations benefit from trade. In the last 30 years the world has seen an explosion in international trade, known as globalization. In this unit, students will learn about the foundational ideas behind why economists are generally for trade. They will also learn about the current debate between globalists and protectionist's differing opinions on the value of free trade for developed and developing nations.
Unit 5: Personal Finance
There are few topics of greater importance for students than personal finance. In this unit students will learn the most essential aspects of personal finance; how to create a budget, the role of education and career choice, how to handle credit, and what the best tools for investing are. Having a basic understanding of these topics will go a long way in improving the financial literacy of our students, and help them with their overall financial health.