At its core Economics is about the concept of scarcity, resource allocation and the methods and processes we have developed to satisfy human wants. During the course, students will develop a sound grasp of the fundamental microeconomic and macroeconomic theories and their real world application, an appreciation of the impact of economic transactions between nations and an awareness of economic development issues facing nations as they undergo the process of change. The course encourages students to develop international perspectives and raise awareness of their own responsibilities as global citizens. As a social science, economics uses scientific methodologies that include quantitative and qualitative elements. The trade-off between efficiency and equity, the extent to which governments should intervene in markets and how to create sustainable economies will be ongoing themes throughout the course.
The course develops many fundamental skills essential to being a critical thinker: logical thought, application, analysis and evaluation to solve problems; observation and inference from data; and presenting ideas and arguments in a compelling, balanced and well supported manner.
During the two year course, students will complete a range of assessments. Examples include essay writing, article analysis, presentations and group tasks. Students are assessed according to the IB economics assessment criteria, which focuses on understanding, application, analysis and evaluation.
As we near the end of the course, we will focus on preparing the students for their IB economics exams, of which there are two for standard level students and three exams for higher level students. In addition, during the course the students will collect a portfolio of internal assessments, which accounts for 20% of their overall mark.
Differences between standard and higher levels
Beyond the additional units mentioned in the sections below, higher level students are required to acquire a greater body of knowledge for many of the topics covered. Often this involves the development of quantitative skills, such as linear functions and economic calculations. A high understanding of mathematics is not required, but students need to be comfortable with numbers.