Extra Credit (Fall 2005)

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Economically Speaking
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Share the Wealth

By George! I think they've got it!

Everyone enjoys a good mystery! Phrasing unit objectives in the form of a question can be a creative way to pique student interest.

During a recent teacher workshop at the Birmingham Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Center for Economic Education, Sarah Culver, discussed ways to actively engage students through the premise that economics is like solving a mystery. Culver used materials from the National Council on Economic Education to pose the question, “Why are we a nation of couch potatoes?”

The teachers in attendance were then asked to identify an economic mystery regarding exercise and diet. Through Culver’s guidance and their own deductive skills, the participants discovered that human behavior can be influenced by choices, costs, incentives, rules, voluntary exchanges, and future consequences.

By Julie Long, economic and financial education representative, Birmingham Branch