Tag Archives: economics

Teaching Economics through the Lens of Sports

 

Angela head

Angela Howdeshell is this week’s poster: I work as the Vice President for Programs and Administration for the Kansas Council for Economic Education, a non-profit organization housed at Wichita State University with a mission of helping Kansas K-12 schools integrate financial literacy and economic education.


 

bobsled-team-run-olympics-38631.jpegAs a parent, I worked hard to find many different and creative ways to encourage my child to eat nutritious foods.  I would sneak it in whenever possible and sometimes in very creative ways.  There were times he noticed and then times he did not.  I hoped for more times where he did NOT notice.  Then I would struggle with the decision of whether or not I would tell him what he had just eaten.  Mostly, I chose to wait to tell him until much later down the road after he had eaten it several times.

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I know that I learned this game from my mother and father.  They were always trying to convince me that I could not survive on ravioli, burritos and pizza for every meal.  I refused to accept that terrible story that sounded like a big lie to me.  These foods seemed to have everything I thought I needed. Mom definitely tried in every way possible to force me to eat those red, green and orange things coming out of our massive garden, which she dedicated many hours tending to.  Outside of the strawberry patch, there were very few things I would consider trying.  Okay, maybe it had a little to do with a stubborn streak too.  My parents always hoped that I would have my own child that was as picky as I was.  They definitely got their wish!  My son could possibly be worse than I was.

One successful way that I remember my mother succeeding to change my eating plan was with her chocolate zucchini cake.  NEVER would I have touched a zucchini baked, fried, or any other way where it showed any skin, texture or taste of that very beneficial vegetable.  It would just be unacceptable in my books.  She succeeded this rare time and before I even knew it, I was chowing down that amazing cream cheese frosting and grabbing my second piece when she told me what was in the cake.  I had already admitted that I loved it so I had to embrace the fact that I lost the “hide the food” game that day.    

The meaning of this story, now that everyone’s craving zucchini cake, is that economics seems to have the same meaning as vegetables to many people.  Teachers, now playing the role of parents in this part of the story, have a lot less work to do now to make economics more palatable to all students.  There are economics lessons for children’s book fans, film and TV enthusiasts, board game lovers and those of us that pay attention when it comes to the subject of money.  One area that has really become more readily available is economic lessons through the lens of sports.  

I do not remember the first year I sat through a session at a Council for Economic Education annual conference but it was over a decade ago and it was probably Mark Schug.  It seemed as though each year we have had more and more.  This year’s sessions were no exception.  I was more than happy to listen as Mike Raymer of the Georgia Council on Economic Education and his co-presenter held their session “Take Me Out to the Ball Game….For Some Economics” because I knew I would probably relate given the years of seat time at my son’s 13 seasons of baseball games.  Sports has definitely taken the spotlight as a very effective way to help students connect economic concepts to something thing they relate to and understand besides using the old widget examples used in my economics class years ago.  

The Council for Economic Education has made a great start at pulling some sports and economics lessons together.  Teachers can find these free online lessons and many more on EconEdLink.

Economics of Sports:  https://www.econedlink.org/topics/9

If you haven’t already taken a look at them, you should peruse the list of enticing titles and check out a few lessons.  Many of these topics can be adapted for other grade levels. These lessons are guaranteed to make your sports fan students try something new and good for them in your classroom.  It is just like adding a little cream cheese frosting to zucchini cake.

LeBron J

Should LeBron James Mow His Own Yard?

Summer Olympics J  Summer Games Worth It?

Scalping J The Economics of Ticket Scalping

 

 

 

 

Check out our site for even more: Economics of Sports

Foundations for Teaching Economics free professional learning. And a stipend!

Looking for some free econ professional learning and a $200 stipend? Then the Foundation for Teaching Economics upcoming Economics for Leaders week-long session is for you.

During this in-depth training scheduled at Washington University in St. Louis on July 17-22, high school teachers “go back to school” and are taught by university professors and mentor teachers. What makes the week unique are the games and simulations: instructors run the activities with real students so teachers can observe the students’ interactions. You’ll see why FTE – designed lessons are so effective and you’ll walk away with a better knowledge of economics, new classroom strategies, and a renewed enthusiasm for teaching. Both new and experienced teachers will benefit from attending the Economics for Leaders program.

What you’ll get:

  • Lessons correlated with the state and national standards in economics
  • Engaging lessons & activities for your classroom
  • Free housing with most meals paid by the Foundation for Teaching Economics
  • Optional graduate credit, three semester hours in economics, only $366
  • 50+ hours of instruction

Specific topics covered:

  • Economic Growth and Scarcity
  • Open Markets
  • Labor Markets
  • Property Rights
  • Money and Inflation
  • Opportunity Cost and Incentives
  • Markets in Action
  • Incentives, Innovations and Institutions Role of Government
  • International Markets

I have been teaching economics for 15 years, so I wonder if I would learn anything new. I learned so much!!! The activities are wonderful for engaging teenagers.

Carla Schiller

Interested? Contact Haley Sisler via email at  hsisler@fte.org or call 530-757-4635. Get more information at fte.org.

Economics is everywhere so it’s okay to teach in every class

Angela Howdehell works for the Kansas Council for Economic Education and is based at Wichita State University. She is today’s guest author.


kcee-logoI have been exhibiting at various annual teacher conferences in Kansas over the past fifteen years. Exhibits have included math, business, social studies, school administration, and much more. Countless times, a teacher has told me during a conversation, “I don’t teach economics. They teach that in the math department” or “They should be teaching that in Social Studies.”

Two minutes later, I’ll be speaking with a teacher instructing the same class at a different school and I hear something like “I love teaching economics in my world history class” or “I love bringing economics in my business class.” The longer I work with the Kansas Council for Economic Education, the more I understand why the idea of teaching economics might be confusing to some. Economics is everywhere, so it can and should be easily integrated into almost any K-12 subject. It is very practical and relates directly to the real world. Students get that! It’s a great thing that economic skills are also found in many of different content standards.

While sifting through old resources early on in my career, I found a reference page that would soon become one of my favorite documents. Our network refers to it as The Six Principles of Economic Thinking also know as The Handy Dandy Guide. This guide can be found in many of the resources provided through our national network of councils and centers for economic education.

For example, the Understanding Economics in U.S. History curriculum guide uses the six principles to help students gain a better understanding of events throughout history. Teachers can also find the guide referenced in the first lesson in our Financial Fitness for Life curriculum series.

Below are different versions of the poster for different grade levels: Continue reading Economics is everywhere so it’s okay to teach in every class

15 econ lessons, political cartoons, and PD designed to make you and your kids smarter

This week’s guest post is written by Angela Howdeshell, Vice President for Programs and Administration for the Kansas Council for Economic Education.

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The current political tension has created many “teachable moments” for helping students understand many of the economic issues facing our nation. These issues are not always taught in classrooms but this is a great time to help students clarify their own thinking and ultimately, become more informed citizens and future voters. The issues are very complex and require our students to begin to dig into these topics in order to understand not only the challenges faced and the impact of choices made in the past, but also to understand the challenges our nation faces today and the impact of the choices we make now.

2015-econedlinklogoIntegrating economic and personal finance concepts in K-12 classrooms is necessary to Continue reading 15 econ lessons, political cartoons, and PD designed to make you and your kids smarter

Using Gapminder’cool data to create compelling questions

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Gapminder is an organization promoting sustainable global development by encouraging the use and understanding of statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels.

Basically it’s a tool you and kids can use to compare and contrast countries around the world. So . . . teaching geography, world history, economics, comparative government? GapMinder is a tool you and your kids need to be using.

At GapMinder, you can access a variety of tools, lesson plans, and videos that help students understand the world and can help you generate a wide range of problems for your kids to solve.

One example of a lesson plan that uses GapMinder data can help your kids to think about the gaps in the world today and challenge their preconceived ideas about how the contemporary world looks. The exercise can also be used to stimulate an interest in using statistics to understand the world.

How to use the activity: Continue reading Using Gapminder’cool data to create compelling questions