Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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The Economics Classroom
About the Workshops

Workshop Descriptions

1. How Economists Think
2. Why Markets Work
3. The Government's Hand
4. Learning, Earning, Saving
5. Trading Globally
6. The Building Blocks of Macroeconomics
7. Monetary and Fiscal Policy
8. Growth and Entrepreneurship

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Workshop Four: Learning, Earning, Saving

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MAJOR CONCEPTS

salaries and wages
the truth about millionaires
education pays off
compound interest
the stock market


Personal financial literacy is vital for students, who need to know that young people, even those of modest beginnings, do have real choices and opportunities. Separating fact from fiction and arming students with sound, practical advice enables students to formulate and reach personal financial goals. This workshop, through lectures, simulations and other exercises on teaching basic personal finance to students, focuses on what money is and how it works and the strategies that exist for becoming financially secure.

Award-winning teacher Marc Johnson takes his class at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, Colorado, through the "Truth about Millionaires" exercise to show them some very surprising things about who has wealth and how millionaires actually live and work. They also learn about salaries, wages and the importance of education.

Heather Anderson's class at Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida, addresses the power of compound interest, which is of special importance to young students about to embark on their economic lives of earning, spending and saving.

In the final segment, we see Eliot Scher, at White Plains High School in New York, conduct a stock market simulation in his classroom in which his students track their investment decisions over time.


Marc Johnson
Marc Johnson

Teachers' Thoughts
"I include personal finance in my economics class for a couple of reasons. One is that it's personally rewarding. The kids don't know much about finance and I think it's very practical for them. The other is it breaks up a traditional economics course and gives them some high-interest stuff to get involved in. About 85% of what I teach is traditional economics. About 15% is personal finance. The Denver Post offers a stock market game online. The kids get in groups of four and are given an imaginary $100,000 they can invest any way they choose and it's interesting to see. They really get involved in it.

Hopefully, it came out in the lesson that I preach, time after time; their greatest ally is time. If you start young you can really set yourself up well financially. If you wait too long it's too late. And my greatest success stories have been kids who - and not the brightest kids either - who've come back and said, 'I'm going to open up an IRA. I'm going to start a mutual fund. I only have a hundred bucks but I'm going to contact somebody.'"




 

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