Analyzing Current Economic Issues

Mr. Waters
Analyzing Current Economic Issues
Grade 12, University, CIA4UI
Waterloo Collegiate Institute
Too many people think that economics is this subject that should wait until the university level. But it
can't wait that long.
Robert Duvall
Welcome to economics! This course will allow you to investigate the nature of the competitive global
economy and explore how individuals and societies can gain the information they need to make
appropriate economic decisions. These decisions ultimately have an impact on all aspects of our lives.
You will learn about the principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics, apply economic models and
concepts to interpret and analyze economic information, assess the validity of statistics, and investigate
marketplace dynamics. Finally, you will use economic inquiry and communication skills to effectively
analyze current economic issues, make informed judgments, and present your findings in a variety of
The first part of this course will deal with mastering economic theory (microeconomics). Each student
will complete a critical book review (from a list of books that will be offered by your teacher).
The second part of the course will look at macroeconomics and each student will be given the opportunity
of researching an issue of your choice (from a list that your teacher will put forward). Many of the issues
and corresponding seminars will be in a confrontational or debate intensive format. One student will take
one side of an issue, and another student will take the other side. The class will then have the opportunity
to join in the educated debate.
Since this course is designed to help students understand the workings of the Canadian economy and the
degree to which global forces are affecting it, reading the newspaper and staying aware would greatly
enhance the quality of discussions in class.
70% Term Evaluation (Unit marks)
 Knowledge/Understanding (30%)
 Thinking/Inquiry (20%)
 Communication (30%)
 Application (20%)
30% Course Culminating Activity
Research Essay (20%)
Overview of Summative Evaluation:
Tests and Assignments
Book Review
January Exam
Independent Study/ (seminar and research paper)30%
Final Culminating Activity
Mr. Waters
Critical Body of Evidence: The following assignments must be completed to demonstrate that the
student has met the overall expectations of the course:
Examination at the end of term 1
Book Review
Seminar Presentation (Final Culminating Activity)
Research Essay (Final Culminating Activity)
It is expected each of the above are to be completed. The failure to complete these assessments will result
in the assignment of as Incomplete for the course. See Late work policy below. Since students will
complete elements of the compulsory Course Culminating Activity in each unit, regular attendance is
critical to success.
The final mark is based on the student’s consistent performance (demonstration of skill and knowledge)
by the end of the course. Learning skills (initiative, work habits/homework completion, organization,
teamwork, and working independently) are evaluated in a separate section of the report card.
Late Work Policy: At WCI is the expectation that students will submit all required work by the assigned
due date as evidence of their learning. Students who fail to meet a due date for an essential course
component will be subject to the completion policy found the student planner. Failure to submit this
work, despite these interventions, will be recorded as incomplete and may result in a loss of credit.
Cheating/Plagiarism Policy: At WCI it is the expectation that students will submit their own original
work for the purpose of demonstrating their learning. In the event that cheating or plagiarism occurs, the
following consequences may be implemented, in consultation with administration, depending on the
The student may be required to redo all or part of the assignment or assessment.
The student may be required to complete an alternate assignment of assessment.
The student’s work may be treated as a missed assignment.
There may be other consequences that are determined to be appropriate, including disciplinary
consequences as outlined in the Cheating/Plagiarism section of the student planner.”
This course will present you with the opportunity to master a host of skills including: graph analysis,
report writing, problem solving, defending a point of view, marginal analysis, relating theory to current
issues, and hopefully, beginning to develop a world view.
An important and interesting (not to mention enjoyable) aspect of economics comes from debating the
issues that will arise throughout the course of study. Educated positions on a variety of current issues will
undoubtedly be developed and hopefully fostered. The intention is for each student to become interested
and excited by all the ways this generation can impact future events. Understanding and knowledge are
key. “Nothing is inevitable (except death and taxes and if you have a good accountant even taxes aren’t
inevitable). The future will unfold as a result of choices that we make and of course the choices that other
peoples of the world make” (John Shaw)
Studying economics will provide you with a valuable base of knowledge. It is a course that hopefully
will inspire as many questions as answers.
A final thought to grapple with…a particularly timely quote, as you’ll soon see.
The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who
want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”
Thomas Sowell
Mr. Waters
Unit One:
Basic Principles of Economics
Unit Two:
Productive Resources and the Different Economic Systems
Unit Three:
Great economic thinkers and theorists
Unit Four:
Theory of Supply and Demand
Unit Five:
Elasticity (as applied to supply and demand)
Unit Six:
Types of Business Structures (advantages and disadvantages of each)
Unit Seven:
Types of Competition (Perfect, Monopolistic, Oligopoly, Pure Monopoly),
Marginal Analysis
Unit Eight:
Macroeconomics – GDP – Employment/Unemployment
Unit Nine:
The Business Cycle and Fiscal Policy
Unit Ten:
Money and Banking
Unit Eleven: Monetary Policy
Unit Twelve: The Roles of Government?
Unit Thirteen: International Trade