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ERIC Number: ED133259
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Economic Literacy and Efficacy: Suggestions for Research. Draft.
Wentworth, Donald R.
Economic literacy and economic efficacy are addressed by examining basic goals and assumptions of economic education and by suggesting areas that need systematic attention and investigation. To clarify goals, an operational definition of economic literacy must be developed and used in a criterion-referenced testing instrument. A definition of economic literacy should include a distinction between literate and illiterate persons, distinguishing behavior, minimum amount of knowledge, specific analytical skills, and appropriate values and attitudes. Some testable student competencies could include distinguishing economic issues from other issues, identifying the economic system, articulating basic economic concepts, and evaluating economic actions and policies and recognizing their trade-offs. However, little study has been done on the cultural process by which people gain their economic knowledge and attitudes. Utilizing political science concepts and research, it is determined that efficacy influences knowledge and attitudes. Economic efficacy is a person's belief about his level of control over the economy. It is possible that (1) a low sense of economic efficacy correlates positively with disinterest in learning economics and (2) a high degree of economic literacy does not correlate positively with a high sense of economic efficacy. Examples of tests for economic efficacy are discussed. If researchers find that economic education programs do affect feelings of economic efficacy, then they must determine on what those feelings are based. For instance, efficacy could derive from naive trust, group identity, or individual competence. (ND)
Descriptors: Attitudes, Behavior, Consumer Economics, Criterion Referenced Tests, Cultural Context, Curriculum Development, Definitions, Economics, Economics Education, Educational Needs, Educational Objectives, Elementary Secondary Education, Functional Literacy, Fundamental Concepts, Individual Power, Knowledge Level, Literacy, Program Improvement, Research Needs, Social Science Research, Social Sciences, Socialization
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (Washington, D.C., November 4-7, 1976)