After my first year teaching I found that I lacked a sense of cohesion that connected the first unit to the last unit. I am retired military (21+ years) and drawing on that background came to realize that I needed a mission statement with approaches and objectives in the hopes that this will strengthen my teaching for next year.
The mission of this high school economics class is to provide students with a logical framework to understand basic economic principles and how people, businesses, and governments interact in order to use resources. Students will be able to use that knowledge to think critically about government policy proposals that are debated in the media creating better citizens capable of being a part of the political process. Additionally, they will be aware of how economy works and how to adjust to changes within it.
Approach and Objectives:
My approach is based on supporting the school’s interests as articulated by the County School Board and the State Department of Education. These various entities share mutual interests in promoting student education. In support of these interests this class will adhere to certain curriculum standards. Additionally, these organizations seek to provide a safe, secure, structured, and disciplined environment where this unique population of students can receive an appropriate education.
As an education professional, it is my responsibility to support these standards. To this end, I believe these umbrella objectives will guide my efforts throughout the course of instruction:
- Define what the economy is
- Explore the basic questions about economics
- Assess the behavior of business and how it affects the economy
- Analyze the effects of the free market system and its impact on U.S. history
- Examine the effects of globalization on the U.S. economy
- Determine how history, culture, geography influences economics
- Evaluate the effects government policy and the economy have on each other
Specifically, this class will offer a variety of strategies in support of these standards. To this end, it is my responsibility to provide students with the opportunity to explore and examine economic, and specifically the United States economy. I will offer students the opportunity to: read multiple accounts and perspectives, analyze primary sources (in the form of newspapers and news video clips), understand historical content, examine source information, and use evidence to support claims.
In order to fulfill the mission statement, and to achieve the goals and objectives, it is also necessary to ensure students are able to perform basic skills. These include, but are not limited to, the following: the ability to think critically and with a historically perspective; the ability to take notes properly, study material presented in class, research and interpret primary and secondary sources, and finally the ability to write and present an analysis and evaluation of those sources.
 National History Education Clearinghouse. Accessed May 27, 2011. http://teachinghistory.org/13.
 Godin, Seth. “What’s high school for?.” Accessed June 5, 2011. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/05/whats-high-school-for.html.