What grade is Oikonomia designed for?
Oikonomia is a high school honors course. While 9th and 10th grade students have taken the course with success, we have found that 11th and 12th grade students are better able to manage, grasp, and appreciate the material.
Does Oikonomia work well in a classroom setting?
Oikonomia was initially designed for local speech and debate clubs and homeschool co-ops. As such it works especially well in a group setting and is an easy fit for anyone wanting to teach economics in a class setting. With the Week by Week and Day by Day lesson plans and assignments already prepared, teachers are better able to tailor each class to their personal liking and the students greatest need. Additionally, the end of the week quizzes, cumulative exams, and critical thinking assignments offer thorough, yet flexible, tools that will help you easily gage students’ comprehension.
- How many students is optimum? This might depend if you will be having help from parents and how much of the grading you intend to do. Groups of 10 + can be great fun as students tend to engage with one another and the material in exciting and profound ways through in-class group activities. While sometimes tracking the progress and evaluating students’ comprehension can sometimes be a challenge in larger groups, the multiple choice weekly quizzes, cumulative exams and occasional C.T. Assignments make this task very manageable. On the other hand, if you alone are responsible to grade students’ daily work, a group of 10-15 would be about my limit.
- Will parents need a Teacher’s Guide? This really depends on whether you as the teacher are responsible to grade their daily work. Depending on the class size, the grading of the quizzes, exams and CT Assignments may be all you can keep up with. If this is the case, the Oikonomia Parent Answer Key may be extremely helpful as parents would have the necessary tools to give their students timely feedback of their daily work.
Does Oikonomia work well in a private school setting?
Since weekly lesson plans, terms and concepts and quizzes are provided, teachers can easily adapt Oikonomia for use in the traditional classroom. Most often you will find more information, activities and material than you can get through in a typical semester. This affords teachers the best opportunity to easily scan upcoming assignments and pick and choose those concepts and assignments that would best serve their class.
What qualifications do I need in order to teach economics with Oikonomia?
If you are a confident reader, have an interest in the subject, and desire to see students gain confidence and practical knowledge that will serve them for their lifetime, you can teach a Oikonomia class! You don’t need to have an Economics degree or other teaching credentials to successfully guide a group of students through the 16 weeks of lessons provided through Oikonomia. Because of its carefully laid out lesson plans and the provided thorough and flexible evaluation tools, teaching Oikonomia will be manageable, rewarding and most importantly, impactful!
What is involved in teaching an Oikonomia co-op class?
Generally, co-op classes are held weekly. You’ll need a minimum of 1 hour per week, but 1.5- or 2-hour sessions are ideal. The more time you have, the more activities you can do and material you can cover. Classes often will meet in a home, a church, or even in a tutorial or community center. The Oikonomia Teacher Guide will provide direction in
- reviewing the previous week’s material
- assessing students’ understanding of the readings, videos and concepts through weekly quizzes and cumulative exams.
- Introducing the upcoming week’s new concepts through the provided discussion questions and in class activities
- Providing opportunities for students to grow in their ability to go beyond the texts through a variety of Critical Thinking assignments
- Discussing and debating many of the issues dominating today’s news headlines
While the Teacher’s Guide provides all the above and more, many teachers choose to just facilitate discussions based on the Q&As and administer the quizzes and exams. Other’s like to take the time to dig deeper into the critical thinking activities and concepts brought up in readings or videos students have poured through over the course of the previous week. Still others may want to spend more time having class debates or discussing the upcoming week’s concepts. All work well in Oikonomia as the Teacher Guide provides enough structure for those wanting to follow the syllabus and flexibility for those that want to add their own ideas and interests. What probably is most important is that you have a clear understanding of what parents expect from you.
How much teacher preparation is required?
Required teacher preparation is minimal.
Ideally, the teacher would read the material and watch the videos; however, the Teacher Guide is thorough enough that parents or teachers can confidently assess students’ responses without having to read all the books and articles or watch the videos.
The Oikonomia Teacher Guide includes prompts (LOOKING BACK) to review previous content, give quizzes and exams, and follow up for the included Critical Thinking Assignments. In order to best prepare for the upcoming week’s material (LOOKING AHEAD), the Teacher Guide includes “teaser” discussion questions and answers. Also included are prompts for optional group activities (LET’S DO) that will require more teacher involvement; however, most can be done with no advanced preparation. The activities found in the *Group Activities book will require a limited amount of preparation; however, detailed instructions are included.
*The Oikonomia Group Activities Book is recommended for teachers who are teaching 10 or more students and can be purchased separately.
Will this course satisfy my state’s Content Standards in Economics?
Yes. One of the core texts, Common Sense Economics (CSE) satisfies all 20 of the Voluntary National Standards in Economics. CSE is also the sole text used in several college and university courses throughout the United States.
How much time is needed for students to complete daily assignments?
Students should plan to spend about an hour each day for reading, answering questions and viewing videos. Some days may be as little as 30 minutes, other days may require slightly more than one hour of concentrated effort. Generally, coursework should average 45 minutes per day.
Is this a Christian curriculum?
OIKONOMIA: Economics for Life and Flourishing is based upon a Christian worldview. Because we wish to foster Christian unity and avoid discord, we purposefully encourage students and teachers to work through all Scripture references together. We do our best not to interpret Scripture in the curriculum, and instead leave this to your careful and thoughtful study.
Money, Greed, and God by Jay Richards (one of the main required texts) best reflects the economic philosophy of this course: free markets, limited governments, private property, and the Rule of Law work best to create human flourishing and a virtuous and free society.
Oikonomia is directly informed by this perspective on work, stewardship, and collaboration. We believe these views glorify God well and encourage human flourishing. While we acknowledge our inability to present this material in a way with which every Christian will agree, it is our hope and prayer that through this course, God will be magnified, and your high school student, challenged, encouraged, and inspired to make a difference in the community God has placed them.
What makes our course unique?
Oikonomia is the only free-market course that utilizes texts written by some of the most qualified and distinguished economists of our time, is written from a distinctly Christian worldview and teaches students to apply that worldview to the politics and economics they encounter everyday! Additionally, Oikonomia gives teachers the ease and flexibility they need to confidently teach one of the most important subjects a high school student will ever take. Oikonomia is truly a high school economics course born of classical ideas, a Christian worldview, and a mission mind-set!
What does Economics have to do with human flourishing?
So glad you asked! For an idea of how “human flourishing,” is impacted by economics, check out this excerpt from an article written by Joe Connors, co-author of OIKONOMIA: Economics for Life and Flourishing and Anne Bradley of the Institute for Faith and Economics. Click here.