Vienna University of Economics and Business (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN22 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 907-914
ISBN: 978-84-09-42484-9
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2022.0260
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
In countless every-day situations people make decisions on how to use their scarce resources in order to meet a myriad of needs. Whenever they do so, they act as economic beings and are part of the economy, or how Thomas Sowell (2015) put it, ‘We cannot opt out of economic issues and decisions. Our only options are to be informed, uninformed, or misinformed’.

People who are ‘informed’ are able to understand economic issues and contexts, to use their understanding to solve economic problems and to make critical assessments. This is desirable or even necessary in various economically relevant life situations, whether it concerns decisions regarding buying, renting, investing or financing, choosing an education or profession, or making use of one’s right to vote and thus participating in the decision-making process determining a country’s economic policy. Economic education is the process that fosters economic literacy. If education is supposed to (also) mean that people are capable of understanding the world and making critical evaluations as well as recognising and solving problems, economic education needs to be an essential component of education.

In this context, the question arises how economic education can be clearly defined and how its contents can be identified and structured. This paper aims at providing a definition of economic education and shining a light on its various concepts that focus on different aspects of economic education. Based on this analysis, we have integrated the different concepts into a holistic model that can serve as a foundation for the development of curricula, as a reference framework to categorise different economy-related issues and questions and as a basis for diagnostic and evaluative purposes. It also helps students to understand and refelct on their every-day economic activities and decisions more thoroughly.
Economic education, economic literacy, model of economic education.