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Economics for Empowerment

A unique approach to Economics Education
Standards-Based | Student-Centered | Inquiry-Focused I Activity-Oriented

We believe that Economics teachers relate everything they teach back to their students. Economics is the means and student success is the goal. It is difficult to play the game and impossible to win if you don’t know the rules. When students learn how the U.S. and international economies work, they can prepare themselves for success in those economies.

When students learn about how to analyze economic policies, using the concepts of goals, resources, and decisions, they can investigate the effectiveness and efficiency of those policies and the benefits and costs for themselves and others.



The practice of making decisions concerning the effective and
efficient use of scarce resources to achieve goals.

The WHAT, WHY, and HOW of Economics Education


Nine Principles of Economic Reasoning

  1. People choose; there is no such thing as a free choice

  2. People usually decide at the margin (give a little, get a little).

  3. Skills, knowledge, experience and personal qualities (human capital) influence the ability to achieve goals.

  4. Voluntary and informed exchange benefits the traders.

  5. People respond to incentives in expected and unexpected ways.  

  6. Markets work well with competition, the rule of law, information, incentives, and property rights.

  7. Public policies create winners and losers. Do the gains outweigh the costs?

  8. Fiscal and monetary policies influence people’s decisions.

  9. Globalization has positive and negative effects on different groups.

Click image to download the poster for your classroom!

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Why is Economics Important?

Learn the “rules of the economic game”

Make informed decisions

Reduce dropout rate, poverty, crime

Create critical thinkers

Promote civil discourse

Preserve our democracy and economy



Economic Concepts Empower Students!


Benefit/Cost Analysis

Goals and Resources


Advantages and Disadvantages

Choice and Opportunity Cost


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Click to learn more about the C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards: State guidance for enhancing the rigor of K-12 civics, economics, geography, and history


The Inquiry Arc And Civil Discourse: Evaluating Economic Policy

  1. What are the stated goals of the policy? Will the policy achieve the goals?

  2. Who are the decision makers? What are their incentives? Who are their constituents?

  3. Who is or will be directly affected by the policy? Who gains, who loses? How are gains and losses measured? 

  4. What are the secondary effects of the policy (unintended consequences)? Who gains, who loses?  How are gains and losses measured? 

  5. Do the gains outweigh the losses?

  6. Is there a way that the winners can compensate the losers?

  7. Is this the most effective and efficient alternative to achieve the stated goal of the policy? If not, what is a better way to achieve the goal?


The Inquiry Arc

  1. Compelling and supporting questions

  2. Disciplinary tools and concepts

  3. Evaluating sources, using evidence 

  4. Communication and action 

CASET-CCEE Opportunity Cost Apron

The CASET-CCEE Opportunity Cost Apron illustrates the decision-making process to your students!

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Five Questions to Ask Before You Step Into the Classroom

  1. How do you want your students to be different as a result of your course?

  2. What are your boulders, the economic concepts and analytical tools that will change your students thinking…not WHAT they think, but HOW they think?

  3. Do you understand the concepts and tools?

  4. Do you understand the ways in which your students can use these concepts and tools in their lives?

  5. How will you teach these concepts and tools so that they are relevant to your students?

Join an elite team of high school Economics teachers. Complete our one-week residential seminar, teach the high school Economics course, and fulfill other requirements to be certified by CASET and the California Council on Economic Education (CCEE) as California Exceptional Economics Teachers.

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