Economic Literacy Among Primary-Grade Students

34 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2003

See all articles by Shelby Hawthorne

Shelby Hawthorne

Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School

Yana Rodgers

Rutgers University - Department of Women's and Gender Studies

Ronald C. Wheeler

College of William and Mary - School of Education

Date Written: August 2003

Abstract

Curricular reforms that emphasize instruction of basic economic concepts have affected several generations of primary-grade students. To evaluate the degree to which primary-grade students have been gaining economic literacy, this study highlights the key achievements in efforts to add economics to the curriculum and to assess young students' understanding of basic economic concepts. The study also examines current strategies to teach economic concepts, and it reviews a large body of children's literature for economics-related content. We argue that even after most states began to mandate economics curricula for every grade level beginning with kindergarten, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the suitability of these mandated concepts in the primary grades of elementary school. Our review of children's literature makes clear that there is no shortage of opportunities to learn about economics through reading. We identified close to two hundred picture books and easy readers that have an economics-related theme as their principal focus.

JEL Classification: A21, J13, Z11

Suggested Citation

Hawthorne, Shelby and Rodgers, Yana and Wheeler, Ronald C., Economic Literacy Among Primary-Grade Students (August 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=433980

Shelby Hawthorne

Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School ( email )

3131 Ironbound Road
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States
757-221-0949 (Phone)
757-229-1591 (Fax)

Yana Rodgers (Contact Author)

Rutgers University - Department of Women's and Gender Studies ( email )

162 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States
732-932-9331 (Phone)
732-932-1335 (Fax)

Ronald C. Wheeler

College of William and Mary - School of Education ( email )

P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States
757-221-2348 (Phone)
757-221-2988 (Fax)

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