Topics

The broad term of Economic Education comprises a broad spectrum of topics. Among these topics, the content areas include consumption, finance, the world of work, entrepreneurialism, economic theory and economic policy as well as the economic system and globalisation. Drawing on these content fields, IÖB projects currently focus on the following nine topics:

Economy and ethics

Economic and ethical questions are often intrinsically linked together, such as questions relating to consumption, production and economic policy. These ethical considerations also belong to Economic Education, not just focussing on the factual connections but also on context.

Digitalisation and e-learning

Digitalisation has massive impacts on the world of work and on the economy. Big data, e-commerce, mobile payments, digital work or the Fourth Industrial Revolution are among some of the key terms. They have led to the emergence of new topics for teaching and learning processes in Economics. Digitalisation provides new potential for learning. Subject-specific approaches are required to successfully shape the process of digital innovation in schools and at universities.

Climate protection and sustainability

A significant proportion of global environmental problems is man-made. Human behaviour, particularly resulting from economic situations, is, in large part, responsible for the extent of today’s environmental damage. Economic Education in schools should also, then, raise awareness of the causes and dimensions of this key issue typical for this epoch as well as offering explanations and solutions from the economy.

Consumer education and financial literacy

Markets are omnipresent in modern society, shaping the lives of children and youngsters. Markets present opportunities as well as risks for consumers. Young people need to be enabled to recognise their scope to take action and be able to use such action for their own benefit as well as the benefit of others. Financial literacy focuses on financial markets and their specific challenges.

Careers guidance

The relevance of careers guidance today is not just a result of the continuing demand for skilled labour, the growing lack of clarity in terms of professional options or increasing dropout rates in apprenticeships and university study. Careers guidance is not just about the process of choosing a job but also becoming familiar with and understanding the economy and the world of work.

Entrepreneurship Education

The dynamism of an economy depends on the strength of its innovation, which is, in turn, closely linked to a lively start-up ecosystem. This is one of the reasons why school students should become familiar with setting up a business as a potential career option. Entrepreneurship Education can do much to promote entrepreneurial creativity, the ability to innovate, self-efficacy, a rational handling of risk and a sense of responsibility.

Practical experience with the economy

Inert knowledge is a term meaning that knowledge cannot be applied when it is really needed. One possibility of preventing this from happening is to learn in practical contexts. Schools now offer practical experience of the economy, some examples are company tours or work experience placements. Good preparation and, in particular, subsequent follow-up in wider factual and meaningful contexts are imperative.

Economic experiments

Economic experiments are considered today as established research and learning methods at universities. In schools, too, these experiments are being increasingly used. They present students with economic decision-making situations, e.g. in the market place. Concrete experience gained from conducting these experiments can be used to start a cyclical learning process.  

The regional economy

Seen from a didactic perspective, the regional economy is significant as a social environment for children and young people. Empirical studies have shown that there are close ties between regional economic life and students' perceptions about the economy. This knowledge is used in IÖB projects to develop materials for lessons in Economics in a student-oriented and realistic way.

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