ERIC Number: ED305312
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
Preservice Elementary Education Majors' Knowledge of Economics.
McKinney, C. Warren; And Others
Evidence that elementary school children possess inadequate economic knowledge is presented, and four arguments are outlined for the importance of economics education in the public schools: (1) economic knowledge is essential to civic duty in a democracy; (2) economic knowledge is important when individuals attempt to function rationally in a complex, industrial society; (3) economic knowledge is unlikely to be acquired without instruction; (4) prior research indicates that children in the earliest grades can learn economic concepts if exposed to an appropriate social studies curriculum. It is suggested that elementary students perform poorly on economics achievement tests due to inadequate economics knowledge possessed by their teachers. This study is designed to assess preservice elementary education teachers' knowledge of economics. Form A of the "Test of Economic Literacy" was administered to 113 students enrolled in social studies methods courses at a southern university. This 46-item test was subdivided into the following seven content areas: the basic economic problem, economic systems, microeconomics, macroeconomics, the world economy, economic institutions, and concepts for evaluating economic actions and policies. Student performance was evaluated and presented in nine tables detailing the percentage of correct responses by content area. Using 70 percent as the cutoff for a passing grade, only three students passed the test. The relationship between teacher knowledge and student achievement is discussed, and additional economics training for teachers is recommended. A 17-item bibliography is included. (GEA)
Descriptors: Economics Education, Education Majors, Educational Improvement, Educational Research, Elementary Education, Elementary School Teachers, Higher Education, Knowledge Level, Methods Courses, Preservice Teacher Education, Social Studies, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Improvement, Teacher Qualifications
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: For related documents, see SO 019 803-805.