Virginia Economics and Personal Finance develops students' economic reasoning through an analysis of the U.S. economy, the global economy, and personal finance. The course covers fundamental principles of economics, including an examination of markets from both historical and current perspectives; the basics of supply and demand; the theories of early economic philosophers such as Adam Smith and David Ricardo; theories of value; the concept of money and how it evolved; the role of banks, investment houses, and the Federal Reserve; Keynesian economics; the productivity, wages, investment, and growth involved in capitalism; unemployment, inflation, and the national debt; and a survey of markets in areas such as China, Europe, and the Middle East. The course extends students' understanding of these principles in the context of personal finance, exploring issues such as career planning, budgeting, credit, taxes, investing, insurance, loans, and major purchases.
In the course, students hone their analytic writing through a scaffolded series of written assignments. They also apply basic mathematics to economic concepts. Students read selections from annotated primary documents and apply those readings to the course content. Journal activities provide introspective opportunities for students to apply concepts on a personal scale as well as analyze scenarios from a third-party perspective. Discussions help students network with each other by sharing personalized strategies and goals and recognizing the diversity of life and career plans within a group.
This course is aligned with Virginia's standards for Economics and Personal Finance.