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The purpose of this statement is to provide members with NZCETA policy on economics in secondary schools. It can be used to:

  • Provide input to the development of an individual school’s policy statement;
  • Provide information to be used in curriculum co-ordination exercises;
  • Develop an individual school’s prospectus and curriculum programmes;
  • Provide information for use with students, parents and the wider school community.

Definition
Economics examines the choices people make about the use of limited resources to satisfy unlimited wants. Economists are interested in the factors that influence the well-being of people and aim to find solutions to improve people's standard of living.

Rationale
A study of economics enables students to participate effectively in economic activity and contribute to their future economic well-being.  Economics issues highlight the fundamental interdependence between New Zealand and the rest of the world.

Links with the New Zealand Curriculum
Economics programmes will address the New Zealand Curriculum requirements relating to the Principles, Values, and Key Competencies, as well as the individual school’s Mission Statement and Strategic Goals.
Economics contributes to the Learning Area of Social Sciences in that it enables students to understand economic processes such as how people produce, exchange and use goods and services.  They will also gain an understanding of economic activities which are important to New Zealand as economic students will explore:

  • issues of sustainability (efficient use of scarce resources)
  • enterprise (identifying profit-maximising levels of output)
  • globalisation (the benefits of international trade).
  • social welfare (income distribution)

The following key competencies as identified in the New Zealand Curriculum can be developed through a study of economics: thinking (eg. problem-solving skills and decision - making skills), using language, symbols and texts (eg. using economic models and statistics to aid analysis), relating to others (eg. recognising Individuals and groups have different values or perspectives which influence the economic choices they make), managing self (eg students set SMART goals for their level of achievement in economics) and participating and contributing (eg group simulations showing how division of labour and specialisation increase productivity)
Economics will also help students to clarify and develop their own values and beliefs and to respect and be tolerant of the values and beliefs of others.

Entry Points
At Years 9 and 10 schools offer a variety of programmes to enable students to achieve an understanding of the economics world they live in.  Economics is offered as a specialist subject at Years 11, 12 and 13.