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From: Scott Wolla (misterwolla@yahoo.com)
Date: Mon Jul 07 2003 - 17:12:28 EDT

  • Next message: Scott Wolla: "[Channel-talkeconomics] Video #7 - Monetary and Fiscal Policy observations"

    Video #6 – The Building Blocks of Macroeconomics

    I am teaching summer school this summer, which has
    given me a perfect opportunity to try some of these
    activities on students. I have warned them that they
    are guinea pigs, they don’t seem to mind because they
    really enjoy the activities and simulations. As a
    result, I skipped from video #3 to video #6 because I
    thought it might be the most relevant to where I was
    in my summer curriculum.

    I enjoyed video #6; in fact I have enjoyed all the
    videos. This is the most practical continuing
    education class I have taken hands down. The first
    activity dealt with the “Econopost” newspaper.
    Students were given headlines and asked to apply their
    economics knowledge to the situation – I liked it.

    The next activity was one that I do in my class, but
    the teacher had a little different spin on the
    activity by adding more visuals. The activity dealt
    with what activities were counted as part of GDP
    according to the definition. I find that is well worth
    while to spend the time helping students distinguish
    between all the different variables, after all I thing
    of GDP as the king of macroeconomic indicators.

    Next showed a class where the topic was unemployment
    and the terminology involved. The lecture/discussion
    did a wonderful job of helping students distinguish
    between the unemployment rate and the employment rate
    (those in the labor force who have a job, about 61%)
    and how the labor force (people over the age of 16 and
    not institutionalized) is determined. The activity
    that was attached to this lesson played off the first
    activity using the headlines – helping students
    determine what type of unemployment they exemplify.

    The next activity dealt with inflation. Students used
    an inflation calculator to help them determine if they
    were hurt or helped by inflation in a variety of
    situations. It also touched on the difference and
    importance of real and nominal indicators such as GDP.
    The lesson wrapped up with how inflation is calculated
    using a market basket and the index formula of market
    basket value this year/ market basket in the base
    year.

    I have found all of these lesson very enjoyable partly
    because I enjoy watching someone else teaching
    economics to their class. It allows me to see new ways
    of explaining concepts with students.

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