This is a one-semester course. One section of this course is offered the first semester: Thursday 2:00–3:00 p.m. ET. Two sections are offered in the second semester: Tuesday 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET or Friday 12:00–1:00 p.m. ET.
This one-semester course introduces students to the world of economic thinking. Students will begin to define economic concepts, understand why economists choose to view the world through a particular lens and analyze the economic interactions of the people and businesses they observe in society. A primary goal is for students to become familiar with foundational market concepts such as scarcity, opportunity costs, comparative advantages, and inflation. Students should then be able to appropriately apply their economic understanding to personal decisions, business activities, and government policies. The course focuses mainly on microeconomics but will also touch on some macroeconomic ideas.
The course will be very engaging, including group discussions and activities. Students will be expected to contribute to class activities in the live classroom or through the class discussion board. They will also have weekly homework assignments, which will reinforce and expand upon the classroom discussions. Some examples of assignments include the following: running a virtual lemonade stand and identifying economic principles used, watching a video about minimum wage laws, making a government budget using certain economic and social goals, comparing the economic and government structures of two different countries in the world, playing a stock simulation game, and reading about the history of money and inflation. There is an estimated 3-4 hours of work per week outside of the live class. There is one quiz and assignment to be completed after the final live class session.
Here is a preview of some of the weekly topics:
- Scarcity, Resources, Opportunity Cost, Cost/Benefit Analysis
- Supply and Demand Shifts, Elasticity, Types of Goods
- Diminishing Returns, Allocation of Scarce Goods, Specialization
- Trade in Competitive Markets, Transaction Costs
- Understanding Economic Institutions (Banks, Corporations, Cooperatives, Labor unions), Rules of the Game
- The Role of Government in the Economy (Taxes, Externalities, Regulations)
- Nature and Causes of Money (Valuation, Historical Development, Inflation)
- Comparing Economic Systems (Market, Command, Traditional, Mixed)
- International Trade and Economic Growth
- Stocks and Investment Options (with simulation stock buying opportunity)
The honors level is designed for students that are advanced and would like to explored the topic in more depth. The honors section will have one extra assignment per week. It may require more difficult reading and writing elements. Everything else (including quizzes) will remain the same.
This class is recommended for 9th-12th graders. Eighth graders accepted if advanced in their studies and work ethic. The course is intended to fulfill the typical requirements for a half year high school level course. The maximum class size is 16 students to encourage student engagement.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Web cam, sound card, and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
Students will receive comments and individualized feedback on their assignments via Canvas. Work will be graded, and student questions will be addressed, in a timely manner.
Parents do not need to contact me before registering for this class. I will confirm registration and provide a welcome email to students. All parents should join Canvas as observers, and I will respond to all parental questions. Parents and students can contact me during the course via e-mail. I will try to respond to any questions within 24 hours.