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Is Economics and Personal Finance worth it?

WED.| 4-5-23 | OPINION

     Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) is a new class at Rose and is now required for graduating classes 2024 and beyond. It is a course that is meant to cover both macro and microeconomics along with banking systems and taxes. These topics are important to cover and have been absent from past curriculums. I am currently in the course and I think that it has the potential to be effective and necessary, but the way it is being taught currently is ineffective.  My class is a virtual version of it on Edgenuity due to teacher conflicts. Currently, our class is just being assigned busy work and we receive little to no instruction. Due to a lack of in-depth activities in the course, it is hard to retain any information presented. The concepts of personal finance and further understanding of the economy is an important thing to cover in a student’s education, but I feel there would be a much better way to execute it.

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Graphic by Jordyn Godwin

     Firstly, there needs to be a teacher in the classroom rather than a long-term sub. If a student has a question or needs further help, they do not have access to those resources. The video instructors are also not much help in furthering the understanding of subjects because they are just reading the notes we are already provided with. To truly gain all of the benefits of the course, students need to have a source that is more well-read about economics and finances. This is difficult to accomplish because there isn’t an instructor so it is harder to apply the knowledge from the class to real-life situations, which is the entire point of the class. Every time I have had a question about the material I have been met with some form of the teacher telling me to re-read my notes and nothing further.

     Secondly, there needs to be specific pacing for assignment deadlines. There is no set pacing and because of this, students can be as far ahead or behind as they wish. I, for example, am working on assignments meant to be done in April. There have been no cumulative assignments, so there isn’t focus on any given topic for longer than a week. There isn’t efficient coverage of any given topic in that amount of time and they don’t get tested more than once.

     Lastly, there needs to be a cumulative examination of skills learned in the class. There is no exam for the course, so it doesn't encourage students to absorb the material because they only need to remember information for a short period of time. Overall, there needs to be a complete rethink of how EPF is taught at Rose and then maybe it would be able to fulfill its intended purpose of preparing students for the real world.

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