Recent improvements in technologies have kindled massive changes in the educational principles of many subjects. However, economics education remains obsolete and irrelevant to the average youth generation. Economics science is seen by many as a highly theoretical and impractical field; this tendency is due to the old-age approach in teaching economics. Many movements have aimed to challenge this conventional stance by applying online technologies and interactive learning to make economics education more accessible and enjoyable.

Since the early ages of economic science, its approach has been correlated with Newtonian sciences. “When common principles that navigate our daily life is treated as ‘atomic particles,’ it explains why economics remain unrelatable to the ordinary people,” Le Dong Hai “DoHa” Nguyen FRSA, a high school student and a member of the UK’s Royal Economic Society commented. “Economics education for the youth should be approached with a common and pragmatic mind.” Hai Nguyen is the Founder and Executive Director of the Global Association of Economics Education (GAEE), a global nonprofit advocating for the reform of economics education for youth generations.

As reported on Yahoo! Finance, this 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization launches a three-phased, global expansion plan called “GAEE’s Silk Road Plan” that aims to create a network of 5000+ students in 18 countries. Members in this network will be educated with the basics of economics, finance and entrepreneurship using world-class and engaging lessons taught by its local educators. In order to do so, GAEE has featured a training-of-trainers model to enrich the approach and skills of its local chapters. Its current network of 1500 members in 8 countries is tie-knit by GAEE-affiliated national chapters, academic clubs, hackathons, workshops, and event. Its recent GAEE’s Boston Economics miniTrivia 2019 and upcoming GAEE’s Southeast Asia Summit Week 2019 have attracted widespread support from its membership community.

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GAEE’s Home App
Image: Global Association of Economics Education

For students outside the network, GAEE also wants to create positive influences by broadcasting webinars, online lessons and assessments through its existing web-based GAEE’s Members Area. An improved version of the GAEE’s Members Area, called GAEE’s Home App, will be the first economics learning software for all platforms from iOS, Android, Linux to Windows and macOS.

The App is the first of its kind to feature a full-spectrum of economics principles, financial literacies and entrepreneurship skills incubating lessons. Partnering with many organizations, institutions and corporations such as Google, Facebook, UNICEF, Financial Times, Microsoft, AIESEC, this nonprofit has the power to truly make substantial changes in how economics is taught on a global scale.

CEE’s 14th Annual USA National Economic Challenge
Photo: Council for Economic Education

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GAEE is a new rising star in this field of economics education, which has recently attracted considerable attention and investment from many organizations, institutions and governments. Like-minded organisations with GAEE in this field, including the National Council for Economic Education (CEE), Rethinking Economics and the Economics Network have chosen a quite similar approach. CEE has launched its famous K-12 Financial Literacy Resources, delivered online and provided direct help to schools through its chapters across the United States. CEE is also the mind behind USA National Economic Challenge, an online playground for students in the United States to challenge their economics and financial literacies knowledge with their peers across America. Meanwhile, Rethinking Economics chapters in Scandinavia, in particular, has attracted widespread support from financial institutions, including the Bank of England and the Royal Economic Society. They will host a conference across the nordic network next week to raise awareness regarding this field and discuss solutions to further improve the state of economics education. All the four aforementioned organizations have been tributed by The London Post as “Top 4 global organizations that revolutionize economics education.”

Distribution of economic approaches in economics theory courses
Graphic: Rethinking Economics NL

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A study by Rethinking Economics last year indicated that the neoclassical approach is dominant within economics education. Fewer than 6% curricula covered real-world problems, from climate change to inequality, not to mention the lack of daily real-life economics principles. “This ‘dead zones’ of economics science requires a comprehensive revolution in the education of economics on a global scale,” Hai Nguyen said. He hopes that these new approaches in teaching economics would inspire more students to explore this field. “We believed that the awareness of these principles would make a positive impact not only on the youth’s daily life but also on the reform of economic science in the future,” he remarked.

By implementing technology, many advocacy groups are looking forward to revolutionizing economics education across the world. From Global Association of Economics Education in Asia and Africa, National Council for Economic Education in the United States to Rethinking Economics in Europe, we can be optimistic that these pioneers will challenge the status-quo of economics learning, and as a result, benefit the youth generations with the knowledge they deserve to have.

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This article is produced using some materials with permission from Economics education needs a reform, and it’s all about the real world. ©2019 by iBusiness Scalar Network, University of Southern California.

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