Fundamentals of Economics

Fundamentals of Economics is not your typical reading-then-regurgitation approach to economics. This course incorporates Socratic discussion and critical thinking skills, and relies on an invested teacher who is willing to enter into discussions. Furthermore, it interweaves topics and issues that touch upon national, global, and personal finance. Organized into six units, each unit starts with “Questions to Consider” and vocabulary terms you will need to know. Units cover these topics: Basic Economics, Business and Labor, Financial Institutions, Government and the Economy, Personal Finance, and Globalization. There are Readings and Handouts for each Unit. Readings are divided into multiple segments and provide topical overview, textual instruction, graphs, illustrations, and analysis. Each segment of the reading concludes with a discussion-based “Pressing Question.” Next follows a series of Handouts each geared to a segment of the reading. These Handouts provide a wide variety of activities – everything from crosswords to review vocabulary, to in-depth analysis of a particular example. There are a number of handouts for each unit. For example, the Unit on Personal Finance includes 17 Handouts including one on Identity Theft. These Handouts often require independent internet research. The Student Workbook includes the Readings plus the accompanying Handouts. The Teacher Guide includes this same information (with answers) plus some additional information such as background info, objectives, and evaluation notes.

This is a well-organized and comprehensive, standards-based, one semester economics course. It does, however, require teacher investment and probably some additional preparation even though lessons are thorough. It is assumed that the student will be doing some additional web-based research. Student book is 245 pgs, pb. Teacher Guide is 335 pgs, pb. ~ Janice

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