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12th Grade



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Typical Course of Study

World Book Learning Resources lists typical courses of study for Kindergarten through Grade 12. The course of study for 12th Grade is:

  • Comparative Economic Systems,
  • Consumer Education,
  • Economic Concepts and Theories,
  • Taxation and Finance,
  • Distribution and Exchange of Goods and Services,and
  • Family Economics and Management.


Academic Standards

Strand 5: Economics, The Social Studies Standard as of May 22, 2006
State of Arizona, Standards and Assessment Division

Concept 1: Foundations of Economics

The foundations of economics are the application of basic economic concepts and decision-making skills. This includes scarcity and the different methods of allocation of goods and services.

Concept 1 Performance Objectives for High School

  • PO 1. Analyze the implications of scarcity:
    a. limited resources and unlimited human wants influence choice at individual, national, and international levels
    b. factors of production (e.g., natural, human, and capital resources, entrepreneurship, technology)
    c. marginal analysis by producers, consumers, savers, and investors
  • PO 2. Analyze production possibilities curves to describe opportunity costs and trade-offs.
  • PO 3. Describe the characteristics of the mixed-market economy of the United States:
    a. property rights
    b. profit motive
    c. consumer sovereignty
    d. competition
    e. role of the government
    f. rational self-interest
    g. invisible hand
  • PO 4. Evaluate the economic implications of current events from a variety of sources (e.g., magazine articles, newspaper articles, radio, television reports, editorials, Internet sites).
  • PO 5. Interpret economic information using charts, tables, graphs, equations, and diagrams.

Concept 2: Microeconomics

Microeconomics examines the costs and benefits of economic choices relating to individuals, markets and industries, and governmental policies.

Concept 2 Performance Objectives for High School

  • PO 1. Describe how the interdependence of both households and firms is affected by trade, exchange, money, and banking:
    a. why voluntary exchange occurs only when all participating parties expect to gain from the exchange
    b. role and interdependence of households, firms, and government in the circular flow model of economic activity
    c. role of entrepreneurs in a market economy and how profit is an incentive that leads entrepreneurs to accept risks of business failure
    d. financial institutions and securities markets
    e. importance of rule of law in a market economy for enforcement of contracts
  • PO 2. Describe how markets function:
    a. laws of supply and demand
    b. how a market price is determined
    c. graphs that demonstrate changes in supply and demand
    d. how price ceilings and floors cause shortages or surpluses
    e. comparison of monopolistic and competitive behaviors
    f. theory of production and the role of cost
  • PO 3. Describe how government policies influence the economy:
    a. need to compare costs and benefits of government policies before taking action
    b. use of federal, state, and local government spending to provide national defense; address environmental concerns; define and enforce property, consumer and worker rights; regulate markets; and provide goods and services
    c. effects of progressive, proportional, and regressive taxes on different income groups
    d. role of self-interest in decisions of voters, elected officials, and public employees

Concept 3: Macroeconomics

Macroeconomics examines the costs and benefits of economic choices made at a societal level and how those choices affect overall economic well being.

Concept 3 Performance Objectives for High School

  • PO 1. Determine how inflation, unemployment, and gross domestic product statistics are used in policy decisions.
  • PO 2. Explain the effects of inflation and deflation on different groups (e.g., borrowers v. lenders, fixed income/cost of living adjustments).
  • PO 3. Describe the economic and non-economic consequences of unemployment.
  • PO 4. Analyze fiscal policy and its effects on inflation, unemployment, and economic growth.
  • PO 5. Describe the functions of the Federal Reserve System (e.g., banking regulation and supervision, financial services, monetary policy) and their influences on the economy.
  • PO 6. Explain the effects of monetary policy on unemployment, inflation, and economic growth.
  • PO 7. Determine how investment in factories, machinery, new technology, and the health, education, and training of people can raise future standards of living.

Concept 4: Global Economics

Patterns of global interaction and economic development vary due to different economic systems and institutions that exist throughout the world.

Concept 4 Performance Objectives for High School

  • PO 1. Analyze the similarities and differences among economic systems:
    a. characteristics of market, command, and mixed economic systems, including roles of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services
    b. benefits and costs of market and command economies
    c. characteristics of the mixed-market economy of the United States, including such concepts as private ownership, profit motive, consumer sovereignty, competition, and government regulation
    d. role of private property in conserving scarce resources and providing incentives in a market economy
  • PO 2. Describe the effects of international trade on the United States and other nations:
    a. how people and nations gain through trade
    b. how the law of comparative advantage leads to specialization and trade
    c. effects of protectionism, including tariffs and quotas on international trade and on a nation’s standard of living
    d. how exchange rates work and how they affect international trade
    e. how the concepts of balance of trade and balance of payments are used to measure international trade
    f. factors that influence the major world patterns of economic activity including the differing costs of production between developed and developing countries
    g. economic connections among different regions, including changing alignments in world trade partners
    h. identify the effects of trade agreements(e.g., North American Free Trade Agreement)

Concept 5: Personal Finance

Decision making skills foster a person’s individual standard of living. Using information wisely leads to better informed decisions as consumers, workers, investors and effective participants in society.

Concept 5 Performance Objectives for High School

  • PO 1. Explain how education, career choices, and family obligations affect future income.
  • PO 2. Analyze how advertising influences consumer choices.
  • PO 3. Determine short- and long-term financial goals and plans, including income, spending, saving, and investing.
  • PO 4. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of using various forms of credit and the determinants of credit history.
  • PO 5. Explain the risk, return, and liquidity of short- and long-term saving and investment vehicles.
  • PO 6. Identify investment options, (e.g., stocks, bonds, mutual funds) available to individuals and households.


National Standards in K-12 Personal Financial Education

Jump$tart is a national coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the financial literacy of kindergarten through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, standards and educational resources. Jump$tart strives to prepare youth for life-long successful financial decision-making. Their National Standards in K–12 Personal Finance Education describe their minimum requirements for functional financial literacy. They describe what personal finance instruction should enable students to know and do.

Wyland products from Teacher Created Resources

Knowledge Statements

These statements provide guidance at three points in consumer development — the 4th, 8th and 12th grades. They are intended for:

  • Publishers as they develop and revise curricula, and
  • Educators as they select classroom materials and plan lessons.

Category: Financial Responsibility and Decision Making

Overall Competency: Apply reliable information and systematic decision making to personal financial decisions.

Specifically, high school graduates should know, understand and be able to demonstrate the following concepts:

  1. Financially responsible individuals accept the fact that they are accountable for their financial futures.
  2. Attitudes and values affect financial decisions.
  3. Financial advice is available from a variety of sources, such as professional financial advisors, books, and the Internet.
  4. Many factors, such as role models and peer pressure, affect spending patterns.
Category: Income and Careers

Overall Competency: Use a career plan to develop personal income potential.

Specifically, high school graduates should know, understand and be able to demonstrate the following concepts:

  1. People’s income reflects choices they have made about jobs and careers, education, and skill development.
  2. The wages/salaries paid for a given job depend on a worker’s skills and education, plus the importance of the work to society and the supply of and demand for qualified workers.
  3. Social Security and Medicare are government programs that provide insurance against some loss of income and benefits to eligible recipients.
  4. Social Security and Medicare are funded by a compulsory payroll tax.
  5. People pay taxes on many types of income, such as wages or salaries, interest, dividends, capital gains, tips, commissions, and profit from a self-owned business.
  6. Deductions, exemptions, and credits reduce taxable income.
Category: Planning and Money Management

Overall Competency: Organize personal finances and use a budget to manage cash flow.

Specifically, high school graduates should know, understand and be able to demonstrate the following concepts:

  1. Formal complaints and government/community agencies can help consumers resolve problems with goods and services.
  2. A personal financial plan should include the following components: financial goals, a net worth statement, an income and expense record, an insurance plan, a saving and investing plan, and a budget.
  3. Legal documents, such as wills, are an important part of financial planning.
Category: Credit and Debt

Overall Competency: Maintain creditworthiness, borrow at favorable terms, and manage debt.

Specifically, high school graduates should know, understand and be able to demonstrate the following concepts:

  1. Leasing, borrowing to buy, and rent-to-own options have different contract terms and costs.
  2. Making minimum payments on credit card balances increases the total cost and repayment time.
  3. Understanding credit card disclosure information is key to controlling borrowing costs.
  4. Consumers with excessive debt have a number of options, including loan consolidation and renegotiation of repayment schedules.
  5. Bankruptcy provides debt relief, but has serious negative consequences.
  6. Negative information in credit reports can affect your financial future.
  7. Laws and regulations offer specific protections for borrowers.
Category: Risk Management and Insurance

Overall Competency: Use appropriate and cost-effective risk management strategies.

Specifically, high school graduates should know, understand and be able to demonstrate the following concepts:

  1. People purchase insurance to transfer the risk of financial loss.
  2. Online transactions can make consumers vulnerable to privacy infringement and identity theft.
Category: Saving and Investing

Overall Competency: Implement a diversified investment strategy that is compatible with personal goals.

Specifically, high school graduates should know, understand and be able to demonstrate the following concepts:

  1. Employer-sponsored savings plans enable workers to shift some current income to the future, often with tax advantages.
  2. Generally, the more uncertain the future value of an asset, the greater the return.
  3. Tax-exempt and tax-deferred investments significantly increase an investor’s total return over time.
  4. Wealth increases with regular investment, time, and frequent compounding.
  5. Diversification reduces risk by spreading assets among several types of investments and industry sectors.
  6. Dollar-cost averaging lowers investment costs over time and promotes regular investing.
  7. Mutual funds pool investors’ deposits to purchase securities.
  8. Government agencies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and state regulators, oversee the securities and banking industries and combat fraud.


Kids' Money > Teachers > 12th Grade


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