YOU Need to TeachEconomics to Your Students Janet Mulder: 52nd Congressional District Coordinator Project Citizen & We the People Anthony Zambelli: 51st Congressional District Coordinator Project Citizen & WTP San Diego Center for Economic Education at Cuyamaca College 1
Objectives Teachers will use a problem solving approach to create more student interest in the study of economics and how it affects our country.
Objectives Students will experience real life situations of their choosing, applying economic principles, thus acquiring the skills necessary to become effective citizens.
Objectives Students will become engaged in and learn the process of problem solving which they will use for the rest of their lives!
What is Project Citizen? Education for democratic citizenship Teaches students to monitor and influence public policy Interdisciplinary instructional program for adolescents • Focuses on state and local government • Applies learning to real world issues • Uses cooperative learning • Serves as a model performance assessment 5
Why Use Project Citizen?Project Citizen develops in students acommitment to active citizenship andgovernance. Provides the knowledge and skills required for effective citizenship. Provides practical experience designed to foster a sense of competence and efficacy. Develops an understanding of the importance of citizen participation. Develops an economic way of thinking. 6
What Does the Project CitizenInstructional Program Achieve?The instructional program helps students to: Learn how to monitor and influence public policy. Learn policy making processes and their economics consequences. Develop concrete skills and the foundation needed to become responsible participating citizens. Develop effective, creative communication skills. Develop more positive self-images and confidence in exercising their rights and responsibilities. 7
What is Public Policy? Public policy can be defined as the agreed upon ways that government fulfills its responsibilities to protect the rights of individuals and to promote the general welfare by solving problems. 8
What is Public Policy? Public policies are contained in laws, rules, regulations, decisions, and practices created by executive, legislative, and judicial branches government bureaucracies regulatory agencies other public decision-making bodies 9
What Criteria is Used to Select anIssue or Problem?1. Does government have the responsibility and authority to act on this issue/problem?2. Can positive or negative economic consequences be identified?3. Is it reasonable to believe that a policy can or should be written that will resolve the issue/problem?4. Is the issue/problem important to young people? Does it have a direct or indirect impact on them?5. Will the class be able to find enough information to tackle the problem? 10
Infusing Economics IntoProject Citizen As a class project, students work together to identify and study a problem in their community. They propose a solution in the form of a public policy recommendation. They develop an action plan for getting their policy proposal adopted and implemented. Students display their work in a portfolio and documentation binder and present it in a simulated public hearing. 11
Portfolio and DocumentationBinder alternative policies our class policy the problem our action plan documentation section 12
Portfolio and DocumentationBinder Explanation of the problem Evaluation of alternative policies Presentation of proposed policy Presentation of an action plan Presentation of economic principles on each panel 13
Project Citizen- Step I Identifying public policy problems in communities 14
Identifying Public Policy Problems Students identify public policy problems in their communities by: discussing them with each other interviewing family members and other adults reading newspapers and other print sources listening to news reports on radio and TV 15
Project Citizen - Step IISelecting a Problems in our communityproblem for 1. Drugs 3.class study Pollution 2. Violence 4. 16
Selecting a Problem for ClassStudy Students present and discuss the problems they have identified and then select one problem for their class project. Students identify the economic consequences of the problem. 17
Project Citizen - Step III Gathering information on the problem 18
Gathering Information on theProblem Selected Students gather information on the chosen public policy problem from a variety of sources Numerical Data Interviews and surveys Printed sourcesRadio and television Libraries Internet Scholars and professors Lawyers and judgesCommunity organizations and interest groups Legislative offices Administrative offices 19
Project Citizen - Step IVDeveloping Action Plansa class Our Alternate Policies Problemportfolio Class Policy 20
Developing a Class Portfolio Group 1 - Develops an explanation of the problem Group 2 - Evaluates alternative policies Group 3 - Develops a proposed policy consistent with constitutional principles Group 4 - Develops an action plan 21
What are the InstructionalAdvantages of Project Citizen? Students connect with real world problems and events. Students experience the economic way of thinking. Students use many disciplines. Students relate assessment activities to instructional activities. 22
What are the InstructionalAdvantages of ProjectCitizen? Students cooperate with peers in group settings Students work with clear, attainable goals Students evaluate their own progress through self-assessment Students benefit from the involvement of parents and other community members 23
Presenting the Portfolio Public hearing before a panel of evaluators chosen from the community Presentations by each of the four groups •Opening oral presentations (4 minutes) •Responses to questions (6 minutes) 25
What are the Assessment Advantagesof the Simulated Hearing? Students connect with real world problems and events. Students articulate relevant economic principles. Students integrate a variety of related ideas and skills. Students use many disciplines. Students relate assessment activities to instructional activities. 26
What are the Assessment Advantagesof the Simulated Hearing? Students cooperate with peers in group settings Students work with clear, attainable goals Students evaluate their own progress through self-assessment Students benefit from the involvement of parents and other community members 27
Step VI - Reflecting on theLearning ExperienceAcquiring Civic Knowledge Exercising the rights Learning the purposes of citizens of democratic government Fulfilling the Learning the responsibilities of organization & citizens procedures of Learning the government responsibilities of Learning the role of public officials civil society 28
Step VI - ReflectingDeveloping Civic Skills Intellectual skills • identify • describe • explain • evaluate a position • take a position • defend a position 29
Step VI - ReflectingDeveloping Civic Skills Participatory skills • capacity to influence policies and decisions by working with others • clearly articulate interests and make them known to key decision and policy makers • building coalitions, negotiating, compromising and seeking consensus • managing conflict 30
Step VI - ReflectingExperiencing Underlying Values andPrinciples Principles Popular sovereignty Constitutional government • Rule of law • Separation of powers • Checks and balances • Minority rights • Judicial review 31
Step VI - ReflectingFostering traits of character Individual responsibility Self discipline/self-governance Civility Courage Respect for the rights of other individuals Respect for law Honesty 32
Step VI - ReflectingFostering traits of character Open mindedness Critical mindedness Negotiation and compromise Persistence Civic mindedness Compassion Economic way of thinking 33
Developing the Economic Wayof Thinking Trade-offs must be made Because the use of scarce resources is costly, trade-offs must be incurred. When dealing with scarce resources, an opportunity cost will be present.
Developing the Economic Wayof Thinking People try to get the most from their limited resources People should choose the option that offers the greatest benefit at the least possible cost.
Developing the Economic Wayof Thinking Decisions are made at the margin. When making a choice people focus on the difference between two alternatives, such as how much more one item cost than another. This is also referred to as marginal decision making of "thinking at the margin."
Developing the Economic Wayof Thinking Acquiring information is costly. Information helps people make better decisions and is, therefore, valuable. Time is scarce, making information costly to gather. At some point people will decide that additional information is not worth the additional cost of time.
Developing the Economic Wayof Thinking Economic actions often have indirect as well as direct or secondary effects that are only visible with time. Oneof the most common economic errors is the failure to consider secondary effects.
Developing the Economic Wayof Thinking Incentives matter Asbenefits to making one decision increase, people will be more likely to choose it. On the other hand, as costs to making one decision increase, people will be less likely to choose it.
Key Findings Students believe they can make a difference in their communities. Students do make a difference in their communities. Students develop greater understanding of public policy. Students develop greater understanding of challenges facing policy makers. Students learn how their government works. 40
Key Findings Students develop a commitment to active citizenship. Students become involved in their communities. Students learn about specific community problems. Students learn to work in groups. Students develop important research and communication skills. Students learn the value of applying the economic way of thinking to public policy issues. 41
For more information contact Janet Mulder Anthony Zambelli3394 Beaver Hollow Road 900 Rancho San Diego Pky Jamul, CA 91935 El Cajon, CA 92019 (619) 588-5672 (619) 660-4318 (619) 318-8923 (619) 261-6129 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org San Diego Center for Economic Education at Cuyamaca College cceesandiego.org 42