Key ideas students should know about economics

K-12 students should learn economics because they will make important decisions in their roles as workers/entrepreneurs, consumers, borrowers, savers, investors, and voters. Their futures and the future of our economy and our democracy depend upon their making informed, reasoned decisions. Economics education shows them how to do that. We do not begin teaching other skills such as mathematics or reading in the 12th grade, so why would we do so with economic reasoning?

Below are seven of many ways that economics tutor can provide students better understanding that will not only be the foundation for personal success but also contribute to the success of the community and our nation?

1. Benefit/cost analysis must be an integral part of how one makes a decision. How will an employer use benefit/cost analysis to decide whether to hire me or not? Should we go to college after high school or straight to work? Must we buy a particular car now or save to buy a better car later? Must limited education resources be spent on early childhood or gifted and talented programs?   

2. Taking advantage of school and education to develop one’s human capital is essential to setting and reaching goals in life. The more students realize and believe the skills, knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics that contribute to success in our dynamic global economy, the greater the likelihood they will appreciate how continual investment in their human capital will help them achieve their goal.

3. What determines the prices we pay? Whether it is the cost of goods, what someone will pay for labor, or the cost of credit – understanding the factors that determine price will not only make people better consumers but will also make them better employees by considerate the market forces that affect the wages employers can pay.

4. There is a role for government in a market financial system, though not whole agreement on when or in what way government should intervene. In general, government intervention is appropriate whenever the benefits of a government policy or service outweigh the costs. While people will disagree on appropriate government involvement, if any, in finicky situations, it is important for all to have a foundational knowledge from which one can intelligently consider the various arguments and draw a reasoned decision.

5. Personal finance includes the study of how people earn, use, and manage money. To be successful, financial literacy needs an understanding of certain basic economic principles that form the essential foundation for one’s ability to manage money and prepare for the future.

6. We live in a global economy. What does that mean and what are the challenges and opportunities that come with this?

7. Opportunity cost. When we do an activity, we tend to equate how good the action is when compared to the alternatives. For instance, when we are working hard a Friday night on a project, we might be thinking “man, we should be doing something else.” The alternative (in this case, partying with friends) has a high value, and thus our present project better be attractive. This value of the alternative is termed as an “opportunity cost” – the value of what we give up. For more details, you can visit our page