Heading into my freshman year of college I had no background in the field of economics. In fact, most if not all of my classmates had the same experience. If I wasn't required to take the principles of microeconomics and the principles of macroeconomics, my life would be totally different right now. Being required to take those two classes impacted my life more than I could ever put into words. So, let's talk about that. Why are high schools not teaching the basic principles of economics?
Maybe it is because they believe economics should wait until the university level. Maybe it's because they don't have teachers that understand economics. Maybe it is because they don't understand the magnitude of the subject. Whatever the excuse is, it needs to be addressed. Not requiring an economics course is an Achilles' heel for any high school.
If a student is not introduced to economics in high school, they might never be. If a student is not pursuing a degree in business, the odds are they will not touch an economics class in college either.
So why is this a big deal? It's a simple answer; without economics, it's incredibly difficult to understand how the world works. Economics is used in everyday life and if we are not exposed to the basics, we will never have the slightest chance at understanding the world we live in.
Now I understand that economics is not for everyone, but high schools require you to take classes such as art, music, history, foreign language, and English which aren't for everyone either. All these subjects can change your life but not all of them can be applied to everyday life. Not all these subjects can help you understand how to balance your finances and live within your means. Not every subject can help you make choices that will benefit you for the rest of your life, but economics can. Even if a student does not decide to pursue their economics education into college and they had an econ class in high school, they will still have valuable knowledge that will forever help them in their life.
But let's say that that one class inspired a kid. Let's say that one class ignited a passion they never knew they had. Let's say that kid went on to major in economics and later became an economist. That one class just gave that kid a job that is irreplaceable. That one class just gave that kid a job that will set them up financially for the rest of their life. That one class changed the whole course of that child's life. One class just impacted the whole world.
All of us have had that one class that changed our lives. All of us have had that one class that put us on the path to our major and our career. We owe this to today's youth and ourselves to incorporate economics into high school curriculum. We always talk about how one child can change the world, but what if that one child never got the chance because they were never exposed to an economics class? We're holding back today's youth and jeopardizing ourselves by not incorporating economics into high school curriculum and that needs to change.