A Look at How Active-Learning Techniques Authenticate the Learning Experience for Students in a High School Economics Classroom
Fox, Teryn R.
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This paper addresses the serious problem of non-authentic learning that takes place in a secondary economics classroom. Most economics classes are taught with a lecture-based approach, leaving students to take notes and memorize information. This approach, however, does not connect the material being taught to the lives of the students so that a deeper understanding can take place. The focus throughout my student teaching experience was to implement active-learning techniques into my everyday lesson plans. Active-learning techniques aim to make the learning experience of students more authentic. These techniques include group work, debates, problem-based learning, writing across the curriculum (WAC), and other thought-provoking games and projects. I chose to focus on this problem specifically within economics because economics is looked at as a dry, boring subject for students. I strongly believe that students need to understand the basic economic concepts of our world, both nationally and internationally, in order to be successful in today's society. Ideas like opportunity cost, scarcity, inflation, supply and demand are all essential concepts that need to be understood just to live day to day in our world. I set out to find if students' understanding of these basic economic concepts became more authentic and if students became more engaged in the learning process when active learning strategies were implemented.
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