Common Sense Economics

  • Full-year or semester-long course(s): total of 27 modules, including 19 core economics modules and 8 personal finance modules
  • Covers 150+ key terms and concepts aligned with national standards
  • Intentionally designed for students who may only take one economics or personal finance course
  • Modules 1 – 4 provide a great introduction for Advanced Placement economics students

This course package contains 27 modules that can be arranged into three different predesigned courses or laid out into a custom format based on your classroom’s needs. Each module is paced at roughly one week per module. No prior knowledge is required. The course is not math-heavy. Instead, students are encouraged to develop their economic reasoning skills and apply them to the development of a more fulfilling life.

Common Sense Economics was intentionally designed to be the essential course for individuals who may only take one economics and personal finance course in their life. It prepares them to think using economic reasoning and to become strategic consumers, wise savers, diversified investors and responsible citizens.

Each course layout includes a basic introduction to 12 Key Elements of Economics. Subsequent modules are based on desired outcomes and objectives of the courseEach module contains engaging reading materials, videos and other media, discussion questions, homework assignments, additional classroom activities, quizzes and unit exams.

Included is a course key by module, a description of each course, syllabus, and more to give you a helping hand when creating your course. Download the course to get started!

Common Sense Economics

  • Full-year or semester-long course(s): total of 27 modules, including 19 core economics modules and 8 personal finance modules
  • Covers 150+ key terms and concepts aligned with national standards
  • Intentionally designed for students who may only take one economics or personal finance course
  • Modules 1 – 4 provide a great introduction for Advanced Placement economics students

This course package contains 27 modules that can be arranged into three different predesigned courses or laid out into a custom format based on your classroom’s needs. Each module is paced at roughly one week per module. No prior knowledge is required. The course is not math-heavy. Instead, students are encouraged to develop their economic reasoning skills and apply them to the development of a more fulfilling life.

Common Sense Economics was intentionally designed to be the essential course for individuals who may only take one economics and personal finance course in their life. It prepares them to think using economic reasoning and to become strategic consumers, wise savers, diversified investors and responsible citizens.

Each course layout includes a basic introduction to 12 Key Elements of Economics. Subsequent modules are based on desired outcomes and objectives of the courseEach module contains engaging reading materials, videos and other media, discussion questions, homework assignments, additional classroom activities, quizzes and unit exams.

Included is a course key by module, a description of each course, syllabus, and more to give you a helping hand when creating your course. Download the course to get started!

What's included with all our curriculum packages:

eBOOK FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

  • Free and simple. Teachers simply subscribe on our website and receive a code to share with their students.
  • Built in a rich text format incorporating chapter text, video and audio
  • Available to an unlimited number of users

CARTRIDGE FILES FOR POPULAR LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (LMS)

  • Designed to work with Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology and any other LMS that accepts a common cartridge import file (.imscc) or Moodle (.mbz)
  • Includes all course files, assessments, etc.

DIGITAL FILES FOR MODIFICATIONS

  • For teachers and schools which do not have a Learning Management System (LMS) or are using Google Classroom
  • Includes all course files, assessments, etc. for modifications, lesson planning, backups or as printable copies

Mini Lessons, Bell Ringers and Study Break Articles

  • Created weekly to enhance your lessons
  • Rooted in concepts, key terms and popular culture
  • Designed to get students thinking and asking questions
  • Delivered to your inbox on a per-subject basis after you download

eBOOK FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

  • Free and simple. Teachers simply subscribe on our website and receive a code to share with their students.
  • Built in a rich text format incorporating chapter text, video and audio
  • Available to an unlimited number of users

CARTRIDGE FILES FOR POPULAR LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (LMS)

  • Designed to work with Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology and any other LMS that accepts a common cartridge import file (.imscc) or Moodle (.mbz)
  • Includes all course files, assessments, etc.

DIGITAL FILES FOR MODIFICATIONS

  • For teachers and schools which do not have a Learning Management System (LMS) or are using Google Classroom
  • Includes all course files, assessments, etc. for modifications, lesson planning, backups or as printable copies

Mini Lessons, Bell Ringers and Study Break Articles

  • Created weekly to enhance your lessons
  • Rooted in concepts, key terms and popular culture
  • Designed to get students thinking and asking questions
  • Delivered to your inbox on a per-subject basis after you download

Interested in our American History course? Click here.

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Interested in our American History course? Click here.

Interested in our Government course? Click here.


This course uses the Read, Watch, Listen, and Do approach to learning. The course is divided into four major parts:

  • Part 1: Focuses on the basic concepts of economics, including incentives, scarcity, opportunity cost, marginalism, gains from trade, demand, supply, the price mechanism, and secondary effects.
  • Part 2: Focuses on the key element of an environment for growth and prosperity. The importance of property rights, the competitive process, allocation of capital, monetary stability, low taxes, and international trade are analyzed.
  • Part 3: Focuses on the role of government and the operation of the political process. Both market failure and government failure are explained. As in the case of markets, the tools of economics are used to address how the political process works, why it sometimes works poorly, and what might be done to improve the process.
  • Part 4: Applies the tools of economics to personal finance. Choosing a career, entrepreneurship, budgeting, saving, investing, credit, and taxes are considered in this section.

During the past decade, the Stavros Center for Economic Education of Florida State University has worked with a team of master economic educators to develop the Common Sense Economics for Life courses. The primary contributors to this project include James Gwartney and Joe Calhoun (Florida State University), Tawni Ferrarini (Northern Michigan University), Mark Schug (University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee), John Morton (Arizona Council for Economic Education), John Kessler (Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne), and Certell, Inc. The developers have all spent their careers in education and most currently direct Centers of Economic Education. They have combined their expertise to achieve a single objective: the development and implementation of an exciting and understandable set of materials that focuses on what students really need to know about economics and personal finance. Certell, an educational non-profit, is partnered with the primary contributors to fund development and distribution of Common Sense curricula in Economics as well as other subjects.

The Common Sense Economics for Life course pairs the textbook primer Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know about Wealth and Prosperity (St. Martin’s Press) by Gwartney, Stroup, Lee, Ferrarini, and Calhoun with short video clips, classic readings, interesting podcasts, and practical assignments. The “read, watch, listen, and do” approach is used to make learning both easy and fun. The Stavros Center now offers this multimedia course regularly online and shares the materials with individuals throughout the U.S. and now around the globe.

59 Key Economic Concepts Covered

Part 1

  • Incentives
  • Scarcity
  • Opportunity Costs
  • Marginalism
  • Gains from trade
  • Transaction costs
  • Demand and supply
  • Market equilibrium
  • Demand and supply (more)
  • Changes in demand vs. changes in quantity demanded
  • Changes in supply vs. changes in quantity supplied
  • Price controls
  • Profit and loss
  • Helping others and receipt of income
  • Jobs versus the creation of wealth
  • Source of economic progress
  • Market prices and the invisible hand
  • Secondary effects and unintended consequences

Part 2

  • Legal system and private ownership
  • Private property and incentives
  • Competitive process
  • Regulation and gains from trade
  • Capital markets: wealth-creating versus inefficient projects
  • Monetary policy and inflation
  • Taxes, incentives, and productive activity
  • Gains from international trade
  • Economics, politics, and trade restrictions
  • Economic freedom, growth, and income
  • Recession and depression
  • Economic instability
  • Monetary policy and Great Depression
  • Tariffs and trade restrictions
  • Taxes, subsidies, and instability

Part 3

  • Protective and productive roles of government
  • Market failure
  • Government failure
  • Opportunity cost of government
  • Political versus the market process
  • Special interest and political allocation
  • Political incentives and shortsightedness
  • Transfers, incentives, and the “welfare” of recipients
  • The unintended consequences of transfers and subsidies
  • Central planning, politics, and resource allocation
  • Competition among governments, incentives, and resource allocation
  • Constitutional rules and sound economics

Part 4

  • Comparative advantage and discovery of career opportunities
  • Entrepreneurship and personal success
  • Budgeting and getting more out of your income
  • Strategic spending: used versus new
  • Dangers of debt and credit card use
  • Prudent saving: planning for a “rainy day”
  • Power of compound interest
  • Diversification and reducing investment risk
  • Risk and return: stocks versus bonds
  • Random walk theory and stock prices
  • Indexed versus managed equity funds
  • Portfolio adjustments and phases of life
  • Beware of investment schemes
  • Teach others sound financial principles

 
 

Created By Teachers. For Teachers. To Empower Teachers.

 
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