Ready-made current events for the economics classroom
On a daily basis, economics teachers introduce their students to the fundamental concepts of scarcity, opportunity cost, trade-offs, choices, rational decision making, and cost-benefit analysis while grappling with the practical application of these central tenets. They balance lesson planning, grading, coaching, and leading extra-curricular activities with taking hall duty, bus duty, and lunch duty; attending department meetings, faculty meetings, and professional development sessions; and making calls home to or meeting with concerned parents.
Oh, and of course they also teach!
Those are the "normal" challenges of teaching. But as a result of the recent recession and the sluggish recovery, school systems now face serious budget constraints. Furlough days, larger class sizes, the elimination of professional development days, and pressures to provide lessons with increasingly differentiated approaches are just a few of the obstacles confronting teachers.
Below are links to articles from the 2011 issues of EconSouth that will help you link current events to some of the common standards found in most economics courses. Accompanying guided discussion questions are included for use with the articles.
* These discussion questions were submitted by Mark DeCourcy, AP macroeconomics teacher, Starr's Mill High School, Peachtree City, Ga.
By Amy Hennessy, economic and financial education specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
January 24, 2012