Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Links to History: Teaching Economics

Today's trying economic times is enough to make you rethink the direction of our education system and ponder the thought of what is most important in education?

Is it the ability to reduce algebraic equations? Is understanding the leadership qualities of Alexander the Great really that important? What about knowing all of the prepositions and understanding that you shouldn't end a sentence with one of them? Or better yet... how about the value of a dollar and how credit works?

Yep, that could undoubtedly help in times like these.

My first 2 years of teaching, I taught economics, in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a great class, and really engages the students because it is real life... and they knew that. I didn't take economics in high school. I don't even think it was offered. I teach now in Philadelphia, PA and I don't think economics is an option. But it should be.

It is a great thing to foster a young entrepreneur and let them hash out there ideas in a business plan. Young entrepreneurship is what is going to keep this company afloat. And with the advancement of technology, the next great entrepreneur could undoubtedly come from a 12th grade classroom.

Entrepreneurship is all around and the future of our country depends on it. Fortunately there are plenty of foundations out there that help to foster ideas by way of education, support and grants, and help any entrepreneur with taking an idea to fruition. One such place is the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. (http://www.kauffman.org).

The Kauffman Foundation is dedicated to creating a society of economically sound individuals who can contribute positively to their community in the form of staring a business or understanding business from a broader perspective.

The Kauffman Foundation has plenty of free resources for teachers and students. Choose from newsletters, RSS feeds and fact sheets.. they're all free, so check 'em out here.

One of the current resources highlighted on the site discusses math, science and technology in the classroom and see how parents and students truly feel about the current curriculum being taught in school.

I know I'm upset that Pennsylvania doesn't teach Economics. I loved teaching the subject. I became certified in Business Technology which has some economics, just so I could teach when given the chance. But alas, apparently it's not important enough to include in the core curriculum. Entrepreneurship and simple economics should definitely be a priority in any district.

Young entrepreneurship is nothing to shy away from. If anybody knows of any other foundations, or grants out there to help bring economics into schools, please share them.

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