The Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business is organised in two related strands: economics and business knowledge and understanding, and economics and business inquiry and skills.
In both these strands, the study of economics and business issues, events and business case studies form an integral component of the curriculum. A focus on contemporary issues, events and business case studies stimulates student interest and curiosity. The content is intended to be taught through a relevant context, which will help students make the connections between what they are learning in class and events or issues that are happening in their local area, Australia and the world.
Both strands also focus on developing enterprising behaviours and capabilities. Through the study of economics and business, students will develop their understanding of the importance and role of enterprising behaviours and capabilities at an individual and business level. Enterprising behaviours and capabilities refer to the suite of skills, attributes and behaviours that allow individuals to engage in and contribute to the economic wellbeing of society. Broadly, they encourage students to be adaptable, demonstrate initiative, solve problems and take on leadership roles in all aspects of life.
Economics and business knowledge and understanding strand
Economics and business knowledge refers to the facts, principles, theories and models developed in economics and business. Economics and business understanding is the ability to see the relationships between concepts and the interdependence of sectors of the economy.
The economics and business knowledge and understanding strand comprises four key organising ideas: resource allocation and making choices; the business environment; consumer and financial literacy; and work and work futures.
Resource allocation and making choices focuses on the process of using available, limited resources for competing alternative uses that satisfy society’s increasing needs and wants. As every need and want cannot be satisfied with available resources, choices must be made about how resources are allocated most effectively, based on the actions of consumers, producers and governments.
The business environment examines the ways businesses operate at many levels, and the ways they respond to opportunities and changing circumstances and conditions. As businesses operate in markets, the decisions they make have social, economic and environmental consequences.
Consumer and financial literacy explores the role of making responsible and informed decisions about consumer issues and managing money and assets, and how these decisions affect the individual’s and the community’s quality of life, sense of security and awareness of future options.
Work and work futures focuses on work, definitions of work, the work environment and the contribution of work to individual and collective wellbeing. It explores the factors that influence the work environment now and into the future and the rights and responsibilities of participants in the work environment.
Economics and business inquiry and skills strand
The economics and business inquiry and skills strand focuses on the skills of questioning and research; interpretation and analysis; economic reasoning, decision-making and application; and communication and reflection.
Questioning and research involves students asking questions about a contemporary issue or event and planning and conducting investigations. Students gather information and data from a range of sources to investigate the issue or event.
Interpretation and analysis engages students in transforming and critically examining information and data and accounting for different perspectives.
Economic reasoning, decision-making and application involves students making informed decisions using economic reasoning and applying economics and business knowledge, skills and concepts to familiar and new situations.
In communication and reflection, students present findings, arguments and evidence-based conclusions using subject-specific language, concepts and conventions and reflect on the intended and unintended consequences of decisions.
Economics and business inquiry and skills are described in bands of schooling at two-year intervals.
Relationship between the strands
The two strands are integral to the development of a teaching and learning program. The economics and business knowledge and understanding strand provides the content focus through which particular skills are to be developed. It is developed year by year.
Contemporary economic and/or business events, issues and case studies are used to provide the context for learning knowledge and understanding and the development of skills.
Key inquiry questions
Each year level includes key questions which provide a guiding framework for developing students’ economics and business knowledge, understanding and skills of inquiry.