夏休み経済教室 2日目:Summertime Economic Seminar Day 2 [Report]

"Summertime Economic Seminar for Teachers" @Tokyo (Day2: 8/12)
場所:東京証券取引所・東証ホール; Place: Tokyo Stock Exchange, Tosho Hall
参加者:中高校教員約100名; Participants: About 100 middle/high school teachers
プログラム: Program:
10:20-10:30 新井明氏(Akira Arai)による「最後通牒ゲーム」(Ultimatum Game)の実施
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10:30-12:10 「国際経済」 (Int'l Economics):13:20-15:10 「基本・ミクロ経済」(Micro)
講師:篠原総一氏(Soichi Shinohara)および倉澤資成氏(Motonari Kurasawa)
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15::20-17:00 シンポ「経済学をどう授業に取り入れるか」(How to Utilize Economics)
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Summertime Economic Seminar for Teachers (Day 2) Summary:
On the second day of the seminar (8/12), after his brief introductory remarks, Mr. Akira Arai (Toritsu Nishi High) first had all the participants play the “ultimatum game.”
In Session 1 (10:30-12:10), Mr. Soichi Shinohara (Doshisha University) made a presentation in "International Economics," where he explained Ricardian “comparative cost theory” in such a simple way that even middle school students can understand it. An important concept is “comparative” advantage rather than “absolute advantage,” which determines the pattern of trade, and it should be noted that “comparative” advantage tends to change over time, e.g., from light industries to auto and high-tech industries in the case of Japan, according to Mr. Shinohara.
In Session 2 (13:20-15:10), Mr. Motonari Kurasawa (Yokohama National University) gave a talk on “Fundamental Problems and Microeconomics,” where he highlighted such basic concepts as rational behavior, choice and (opportunity) cost, efficiency in time allocation, supply and demand, etc. One can go a long way toward the understanding of economics by just learning these few key concepts.
In the Symposium (15:30-17:00), four panelists (Mr. Arai, Mr. Akamine, Mr. Shinohara and Mr. Kurasawa) discussed how to utilize economics in teaching economic subjects in class, first by expressing their opinions as follows: (1) more emphasis should be placed on the explanation of the basic role and mechanism of economic systems, institutions and policies, rather than memorization of those names and events, (2) students should be encouraged to learn the economic way of thinking and to comprehend and analyze economic and social events on their own, and (3) we all should have a better understanding of market mechanism, affecting our daily life, and the failures of markets as well as governments in reality.
Then, the panelists responded to various questions from the audience regarding moral and economics, winners and losers in competition, merits and demerits of globalization, etc.
Finally, Mr. Shinohara, representing NEE (Network of Economic Education) concluded by reflecting on the two-day seminar that this kind of activities should be continued, but next time more consideration would be given to the order and content of subjects to be covered (including "finance" in the future) , and to meet the needs of middle-school teachers and of high-school teachers separately.
At any rate, it was a good try on the part of NEE in cooperation with the Tokyo Stock Exchange group for the benefit of teachers who are eager to learn economics for more effective teaching practices in class.