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October is National and Nebraska Economics Education Month

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 8:21 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - October is officially National and Nebraska Economic Education Month! The observance promotes the importance of teaching economics in our schools.

Economics, at its core, is all about decision making. It’s all about the fact that scarcity exists, we can’t have everything we want, and we have to make choices. People generally think it is all about money (and in bad economics classes, that’s all they’re taught), but it is so much more than that. Economics is about people, choices, incentives, and consequences that lie in the future.

It explains everything from why I might choose to eat one more slice of pizza, to how many employees to hire, to what’s happening in the national economy with interest rates. The magic of understanding economics is that it helps you see the hidden side of things – seeing the unseen. We have to do a better job of not only teaching it but also ensuring students have access to and take good economics classes.

In Nebraska, 143 of our 244 school districts offer an economics course and only 55 require it for graduation. This amounts to 43 percent of our student population required to take an economics class before graduating high school.

By studying how our economy works, young people can also learn how to make efficient choices in managing their own scarce resources. Economic education involves teaching children decision-making skills they can apply to all areas of their lives. A democracy requires its citizenry to have a solid understanding of basic economics.

Preparing our children for success in life involves teaching them critical decision-making skills when they are young. Providing teachers with innovative and meaningful educational opportunities is one of the most important things we can do to ensure prosperity in our students’ lives and in our communities.

Economic education in our schools depends on K-12 educators being equipped with high-quality training. They also require resources to ensure students have equitable access to classroom experiences that develop the skills necessary to make informed choices as individuals and members of their community.

Throughout October, educators, families, and community leaders can engaged in and promote economic education in many ways:

  • Visit our website for activities, competitions, and events: http://nebraskacouncil.unl.edu
  • Families can have conversations about how they make decisions for their homes.
  • Teachers may invite community and business leaders to visit their students to share how their decision-making process compares to families making choices every day.
  • Business and government leaders can reach out to educators to offer help in promoting quality economic education in schools.
  • Teachers should visit http://nebraskacouncil.unl.edu to learn about our economics competitions or register for a workshop.

The Nebraska Council on Economic Education helped found National Economic Education Month in 2021 to promote the importance of economics in education and help prepare students for their economic roles as workers, entrepreneurs, consumers, borrowers, savers, and investors. Economic education holds the key to living productive lives. It is also essential for our economy to function at its fullest levels of productivity while maintaining its competitive advantages.

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