I am certainly not an economist or "master teacher", but one of the great things about being more comfortable with the material is that you can begin to bring in more and more of the intricacies of economics into the classroom. In the past couple of years I have had a great time discussing more game theory in my regular econ classes.
I started with "The Prisoner's Dilemma" (Lesson 14 in Focus: High School Economics), then started incorporating this cartel game into our discussions of colluding oligopolies. Now I plan on incorporating "The Ultimatum Game", which I saw demonstrated in an FTE workshop several years ago.
The gist of this lesson is to see if markets promote ethical behavior or not. Give these a shot in your classroom and I think you will find them to be well worth the time and effort.
Your Macro unit is coming up right? Stash this one away for the day you go over government taxing and spending. I always liked to list countries on one side of the board and tax rates on the other. Have the kids try to match up the countries to the income tax rates. I bet many of your students will think the U.S. has the highest income tax rates. Mine usually did. Be sure to distinguish between income tax rates, corporate tax rates, etc. as they are all over the place from one country to the next.
Times are tough all over I guess. Maybe this will inspire Georgia to sell that gold dome on the state capitol building. I bet that would fetch a pretty penny. We could easily replace the gold leaf with an old school thatched roof.
After attending the AP reading in Lincoln this summer I realized my mantra would have to change. Here is the edited version: When all else fails graph, graph, graph, label, label, label, and CALCULATE, CALCULATE, CALCULATE! Can you tell what I have added? Have your students calculate the areas of consumer and producer surplus and dead weight loss. Recognition of these areas through the standard labeling will not be enough.
Also, they will need to be able to calculate elasticity using the total receipts test and/or the elasticity coefficient(use the midpoint formula) in order to prove which portion of the demand curve is being represented through a price change. It will not be enough to use an explanation of that principle. Lessons 18 and 19 in the 3rd edition of the Morton AP Microeconomics workbook will provide excellent practice for these elasticity issues.
While I have always had my students do these calculations and practice these extensively there was a general consensus at the reading that this was not the norm as evidenced through student responses on the exam questions this year.
I have mentioned before that I went on a wonderful German fellowship study tour this summer with the Goethe Institut. Well, the Georgia Council has been gracious enough to invite me to speak about the program and distribute Goethe materials (lesson plans, maps, etc.) at no monetary cost to you (I would say free but of course TINSTAAFL is always hanging around) at the GCEE "Economies in Transition-Europe"workshop being held on the campus of Columbus State University on September 29th.
The CPI numbers were released yesterday and it showed the smallest yearly jump in more than five years. What is the CPI you ask? The Consumer Price Index of course. Who gives a rip about that you ask? Well, every single student in Georgia that is going to take the EOCT that's who.
Yes, the CPI is in the standards. SSEMA1b to be exact. "Define...Consumer Price Index (CPI)..." You remember those pesky standards right? They can be viewed right here. Love them or hate them, the standards are not going anywhere so why not dive right in and teach the heck out of the things?
The cool part to all of this is making the direct economic link to the lives of your students. I can see the kids right now, just sitting there saying "But how does this CPI stuff relate to my life Mr./Mrs. So in so?" BAM, you come back with this.
Thuthukani School for Special Learners is located in the Empangeni School District in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Its principal Martie Combrinck has devoted the past fourteen years of her life to the education of the special needs learners at Thuthukani, which means progress in Zulu. She knew all these young people by name and spoke their languages.
Each time we entered a room their faces would light up at the sight of her, many coming to her for a hug. Three levels of learners make up the 350 in attendance. The most advanced spend a year training in a trade such as being a seamstress. We witnessed an interactive and affirming environment.
Our visit began with a delightful song and dance demonstration by the learners who are capable of performing at this level. Tremendous hurdles have been overcome to integrate these children into their culture enabling them to have much more fulfilling lives then previously was the norm. This was one of the most inspirational visits during our time in KZN.
Anyone else catch this story? (more here) Do we really want to get into a protectionist snit with the Chinese? Why must we go down this road every couple of years? I love unionized American steelworkers as much as the next guy but come on already.
As luck would have it the official Econblog ride needs new tires right now (driving back and forth to Pelham so many times will do it) and I am in no mood to pay higher prices because of some political posturing.
Read about Rio Tinto in the news recently? If not there, then maybe here? Why do I ask? One of our stops on the study tour in South Africa was Richards Bay Minerals. This is a jointly owned mineral sands processing facility that produces 25% of the world's market share of titania slag, rutile, zircon, and pig iron. Rio Tinto and BHP Billitonare those owners. We spent two fascinating hours at the facility! While we expressed concern over the ecological impact of this process our fears were quickly allayed through the presentation and tour of the dune mining site. This was conducted by Gugu Ncanana, a former student of Sithembiso Tshabalala one of our South African tour facilitators.
On Wednesday, October 14th, from 5:00pm until 8:30pm, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta will be hosting "Evening with the Fed, a Presentation for Middle and High School Educators."
What is this program all about you ask? Well, this is what the Fed brochure I am looking at says:
This free program, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s head office and branches, provides a forum for school administrators and educators to explore current economic and financial topics that help them translate theory into real-world lessons for their students.
Chriszt’s presentation will cover • general economic concepts about labor markets and their connection to economic activity • how the current recession has affected American workers • the Federal Reserve’s actions to support the economy
I have gone to an "Evening With the Fed' before and I can tell you it was 100% top notch. You get to hear a great Fed speaker, you walk away with materials, new lesson ideas and on top of all that they feed you an outstanding meal. Sounds like a great night to me.
If you are interested in registering you can do it right here. This will fill up so do not wait if you are interested in attending. Tell them Econblog sent you.
Thanduyise High School was the location of our first school visit in KZN province, South Africa. The lesson we were observing on globalization was being taught by Mr. GST Mabaso. Fifteen members of his class of 42 learners had been assigned various roles to assist in the delivery of the lesson. Mr. Mabaso managed to cover an amazing number of concepts in this introductory lesson on globalization by using a PowerPoint slide show that was being projected on to four sheets of paper that had been taped to his board.
After the lesson was completed we were able to dialogue with these bright and engaging 11th grade learners. By the end of the visit our tour leader Joanne Dempsey, director of the Illinois Council on Economic Education, had convinced the class to sing a traditional Zulu song for us. What an amazing experience! We all had tears in our eyes from the shear beauty of these talented young people. As we would find out later in the trip Zulu dancing is as incredible as their singing!