Academic standards list

Economics — Social Studies (2014-2019)

Introduction

Students will examine the allocation of scarce resources and the economic reasoning used by government agencies and by people as consumers, producers, savers, investors, workers, and voters. Key elements of the course include the study of scarcity, supply and demand, market structures, the role of government, national income determination, money and the role of financial institutions, economic stabilization, and trade. Students will examine the key economic philosophies and economists who have influenced the economies around the world in the past and present. Informational text and primary sources will play an instrumental part of the study of economics where it is appropriate.
 

Content Strands: Many academic standards for social studies courses are categorized into content strands as indicated by letter codes. (C=Culture, E=Economics, G=Geography, H=History, P=Politics/Government, TN=Tennessee)

Scarcity and Economic Reasoning

Students will understand that productive resources are limited; therefore, people cannot have all the goods and services they want. As a result, they must choose some things and give up others.

 
Academic Standards
Define each of the productive resources (natural, human, capital) and explain why they are necessary for the production of goods and services.
E
 
Explain how consumers and producers confront the condition of scarcity, by making choices that involve opportunity costs and tradeoffs.
E
 
Identify and explain the broad goals of economic policy such as freedom, efficiency, equity, security, growth, price stability, and full employment.
C,E
 
Describe how people respond predictably to positive and negative incentives.
C,E
 
Explain that voluntary exchange occurs when all participating parties expect to gain.
E
 
Compare and contrast how the various economic systems (traditional, market, command, mixed) try to answer the questions: What to produce? How to produce it? For whom to
E
 
Describe how clearly defined and enforced property rights are essential to a market economy.
E
 
Use a production possibilities curve to explain the concepts of choice, scarcity, opportunity cost, tradeoffs, unemployment, productivity, and growth.
E
 
Compare and contrast the theoretical principles of the economic systems of capitalism, socialism, and communism, and use historical examples to provide evidence of their
E
 
Examine informational text and primary sources to analyze the major ideas of the following economists:
E,H
 

Supply and Demand

Students will understand the role that supply and demand, prices, and profits play in determining production and distribution in a market economy.

 
Academic Standards
Define supply and demand, and provide relevant examples.
E
 
Describe the role of buyers and sellers in determining the equilibrium price.
E
 
Describe how prices of products as well as interest rate and wage rates send signals to buyers and sellers of products, loanable funds, and labor.
E
 
Explain that consumers ultimately determine what is produced in a market economy (consumer sovereignty).
C,E
 
Explain the function of profit in a market economy as an incentive for entrepreneurs to accept the risks of business failure.
C,E
 
Demonstrate how supply and demand determine equilibrium price and quantity in the product, resource, and financial markets, including drawing and reading supply and
E
 
Identify factors that cause changes in market supply and demand.
E
 
Demonstrate how changes in supply and demand influence equilibrium price and quantity in the product, resource, and financial markets.
E
 
Demonstrate how government wage and price controls, such as rent controls and minimum wage laws, create shortages and surpluses.
E
 
Cite evidence from appropriate informational texts to argue in an opinion piece for or against the minimum wage.
E
 
Use concepts of price elasticity of demand and supply to explain and predict changes in quantity as prices fluctuate.
E
 
Explain how financial markets, such as the stock market, channel funds from savers to investors.
E
 

Market Structures

Students will understand the organization and role of business firms and analyze the various types of market structures in the United States economy.

 
Academic Standards
Compare and contrast the following forms of business organization: sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation.
E
 
Analyze the various ways and reasons that firms grow either through reinvestment of financial capital obtained through retained earnings, stock issues and borrowing, or
E
 
Analyze key details and central ideas from diverse forms of informational text to summarize the role and historical impact of economic institutions, such as labor
E
 
Identify the basic characteristics of monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition, and pure competition.
H,E
 
Explain how competition among many sellers lowers costs and prices and encourages producers to produce more.
E
 
Demonstrate how firms with market power can determine price and output through marginal analysis.
E
 
Explain ways that firms engage in price and non-price competition.
E
 
Examine informational text in diverse formats and media to analyze how investment in research and development, equipment and technology, and training of workers
E
 
Describe how the earnings of workers are determined by the market value of the product produced or service provided, workers' productivity, incentives, collective
E
 
Analyze the role and productivity of entrepreneurs in a free-enterprise system and how entrepreneurial decisions are influenced by tax, regulatory, education, and
E,C
 

The Role of Government

The student will understand the roles of government in a market economy are the provision of public goods and services, redistribution of income, protection of property rights, and resolution of market failures.

 
Academic Standards
Explain how government responds to perceived social needs by providing public goods and services.
E,P
 
Describe major revenue and expenditure categories and their respective proportions of local, state, and federal budgets.
E,P
 
Identify laws and regulations adopted in the United States to promote competition among firms.
E,H,P
 
Describe the characteristics of natural monopolies and the purposes of government regulation of these monopolies, such as utilities.
E,P
 
Define progressive, proportional, and regressive taxation.
E,H,P
 
Use appropriate informational text to analyze costs and benefits of government policies (Social Security, Medicare, Earned Income credits) and cite evidence from
E,H,P
 
Research textual evidence in diverse formats to write a problem-solution piece recommending a course of action in regard to the national debt.
E,P
 
Define and explain fiscal and monetary policy and the various schools of thought including Keynesian, Supply-siders, and Monetarists on how, when and if these policies
E,P
 
Analyze how the government uses taxing and spending decisions (fiscal policy) to promote price stability, full employment, and economic growth.
E,P
 
Analyze how the Federal Reserve uses monetary tools to promote price stability, full employment, and economic growth.
E,P
 

National Economic Performance

Students will understand the means by which economic performance is measured.

 
Academic Standards
Define aggregate supply and demand, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), economic growth, unemployment, and inflation.
E
 
Explain how Gross Domestic Product (GDP), economic growth, unemployment, and inflation are calculated.
E
 
Analyze the impact of events in United States history, such as wars and technological developments, on business cycles.
E,H
 
Identify the different causes of inflation, and explain who gains and loses because of inflation.
E
 
Explain that a country's overall level of income, employment, and prices are determined by the individual spending and production decisions of households, firms, and
C,E,H,P
 
Illustrate and explain how the relationship between aggregate supply and aggregate demand is an important determinant of the levels of unemployment and inflation in an
E
 

Money and Role of Financial Institutions

Students will understand the role of money and financial institutions in a market economy.

 
Academic Standards
Explain the basic functions of money including its role as a medium of exchange, store of value, unit of account.
E
 
Describe the growth of income inequality in the United States and worldwide using the Lorenz curve and analyze the reasons for this increasing disparity of income.
E
 
Identify the composition of the money supply of the United States.
E
 
Explain the role of banks and other financial institutions in the economy of the United States.
E
 
Describe the organization and functions of the Federal Reserve System and identify the current Federal Reserve chairperson.
E
 

Trade

Students will understand why individuals, businesses, and governments trade goods and services and how trade affects the economies of the world.

 
Academic Standards
Examine evidence in informational texts to explain the benefits of trade among individuals, regions, and countries.
E,G
 
Define and distinguish between absolute and comparative advantage and explain how most trade occurs because of a comparative advantage in the production of a particular
E,G
 
Define trade barriers, such as quotas and tariffs.
E,G
 
Explain why countries sometimes erect barriers to trade such as quotas and tariffs, or through subsides to domestic producers and the consequences of those trade
E,G,H
 
Explain the difference between balance of trade and balance of payments.
E,G
 
Compare and contrast labor productivity trends in the United States and other developed countries.
E,G
 
Explain how changes in exchange rates impact the purchasing power of people in the United States and other countries.
E,G
 
Cite evidence from appropriate informational text to evaluate the arguments for and against free trade.
E,H,G
 
 
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