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FSD3099 Upper Secondary Students' Experiences of Economics Course YH2 2012-2013

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Authors

  • Sutela, Inkeri (University of Helsinki)

Keywords

civic education, economic policy, educational courses, national economy, political ethics, students, sustainable development, textbooks, upper secondary schools

Abstract

This study charted Finnish-speaking upper secondary school students' opinions on the Economics course YH2 and the textbooks used during the course, as well as views on how the course relates to such themes as sustainable development and economic growth.

First, the respondents' general interest in matters such as the economy, domestic and international news and party politics were examined. Next, the respondents were asked how useful, practical or interesting they thought the course was in general.

They were asked to evaluate the effect of the course on making the students think about sustainable development and understanding it. The respondents were also asked if it was possible to combine economic growth and ecologically sustainable development, and they were asked to give reasons for their opinion. Next, the respondents were presented with a set of statements regarding economic growth, market economy and sustainable development, such as "Economic growth is a good thing", "Consumer choices direct industry to act more ethically", "It is possible to sustain economic growth in the long run", and "Wealth is a consequence of being diligent, creative, smart and industrious". Opinions on economic decision-making carried out by economists and politicians were also examined, e.g. with regard to whether or not politicians should consider the opinions of experts when making decisions related to the economy.

Questions about teaching and the textbook used during the course charted their practicality, and it was asked whether or not topics were discussed from varying perspectives. Finally, the respondents were asked if the economics course should contain more topics concerning ethics in economic life, the global/national perspective or the individual's perspective.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, type of the municipality in which the respondent's school is located and the textbook used during the course.

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