STEM and Economic Education
Math and Economics Pedagogy
Research and practice in mathematics education highlights the need to create high cognitive demand tasks for students. Such tasks are not necessarily complicated, but present students with open ended problems about which they need to think critically, rather than simply copying rote procedures. This mode of pedagogy helps students learn how to think analytically. While such tasks are developed from topics across the natural and social sciences, economic and financial topics provide some of the best material for these high cognitive demand tasks due to their familiarity to students. Not every student has the desire to build a geometrically interesting shape or to consider how to design a physics experiment. However, most students do have experience receiving an allowance, working odd jobs, and deciding how much to spend on a purchase. We are investigating opportunities in curriculum development and research that take advantage of these synergies.
Our Classroom Business Enterprise (CBE) program provides training to teachers to create a classroom business with their students. Many of the steps of product development (science and technology), production set-up (engineering), and profit calculations (mathematics) already include STEM applications that we plan on formalizing as part of our training and the overall program.