Welcome new readers!

The "New to the blog? Start here" page will give you an overview of the blog and point you to some posts you might be interested in. You can also subscribe to receive future posts via RSS, Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right-hand side of the page, or via email by entering your address in the box. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Economics content standards

The first thing I had students do in my Economics for Teachers course is look over California's content standards in economics (the California Council on Economic Education has a great booklet that pulls out the econ-specific standards for every grade), and compare them to the Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics. There were two reactions from my students I found particularly noteworthy. The first, which I sort of expected, was many commented that they did not learn this stuff in high school, although almost all of them went to high school in California after the standards were adopted. While they said that they did talk about some of the topics, most agreed that they didn't really see most of the content until they got to college. Of course, that is exactly what led me to create this class in the first place, but it was nice to have my perceived need for the class reinforced.

The other reaction that I found interesting was that several students asked about the standards in other states. I had mentioned that California is one of the leaders among states in developing high-level content standards, in all subjects, and one of the earliest states to require a full high school course in economics; according to a survey by the National Council on Economic Education, even now, only 17 states have this requirement, though this is up from 13 in 1998. But to be honest, I have never looked at the standards in other states. The Council of Chief State School Officers makes this pretty easy by having a website that compiles links to content standards from the ed departments of all 50 states. Looking over the econ standards for a few of the states that do require econ in high school (e.g., Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Idaho), there's a wide range in what's required, with California on the 'more specific' end of the spectrum. I found a working paper that assesses state standards in economics in the primary grades but if anyone knows of a similar survey of state standards in high school, please let me know. Maybe that will become a project for my class the next time around...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments that contribute to the discussion are always welcome! Please note that spammy comments whose only purpose seems to be to direct traffic to a commercial site will be deleted.