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From: Scott Wolla (misterwolla@yahoo.com)
Date: Mon Jul 07 2003 - 17:13:37 EDT

  • Next message: Scott Wolla: "[Channel-talkeconomics] Video #4 - Learning, Earning, and Saving observations"

    Video #7 – Monetary and Fiscal Policy

    I really sharpened my understanding of some of these
    concepts in this video as well as getting some great
    ideas from this video. One of the areas where I filled
    in my knowledge base was by thinking of Aggregate
    Supply as the productive capacity of an economy. If
    Aggregate Demand fall short of capacity, unemployment
    rises. If Aggregate Demand is greater than potential
    GDP, then inflation results. The goal of managing the
    economy is to keep AD growing at the same rate as
    potential GDP. This way of thinking of the
    macroeconomy really clicks and brings many of these
    concepts together in a cohesive group.

    One of the activities I really enjoyed and will adapt
    for my classroom is the lesson on how money works. The
    lesson combined the balance sheet with how money is
    created by banks engaging in loan activities and the
    federal reserve regulating the activity with the
    fractional reserve system. I think this activity does
    a great service for students by taking a very abstract
    process and puts real issues on them. Students see how
    money is created. Students often have difficulty with
    this because they equate printing money with money
    creation.

    The last segment deals with the “Fed Challenge”. The
    competition looks very enjoyable and really motivates
    students to acquire knowledge and understanding of
    Economics. We do not have Fed Challenge in our part of
    the country, but we do have the “Economics Challenge”
    – which pits teams from various parts of the state
    against one another on the basis of Economics
    knowledge. The competition involves two individual
    written tests (micro and macro), team written test
    (international and comparative) and a quiz bowl
    playoff between the two top teams. I have had the
    privilege to coach this activity for three years. In
    fact, I started coaching the team before I was
    teaching Economics. Students really enjoy the activity
    and take great pride in their knowledge. I have found
    that coaching Economics team is more rewarding than
    any other activity I have coach or advised because I
    can see the direct result of what I do in the
    classroom and what the result is on competition day.
    It drives me to be a better classroom teacher.

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