SOLUTION: Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School Teaching Assistance Reflection Essay

SOLUTION: Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School Teaching Assistance Reflection Essay.

Welcome to American University’s beginning course in economics. Economics is a
complex discipline that studies how humans organize their material life. By material life, I mean
those processes associated with the production, distribution and use of goods and services as well
as all those activities that reproduce our conditions of existence. Economists study how we
humans deal with this crucial aspect of our existence, and how our organization of material life
has changed over time. This means that economists consider alternative methods of producing
and distributing goods and evaluate which methods can better attain goals such as sustainability,
efficiency and fairness. Because most economists study the modern period, economics
particularly focuses on the ways in which markets organize our material life. In this class, we
will focus on long-run issues of growth, equity and sustainability as well as short run issues of
employment and price stability.
To address these topics, I have divided the class into five sections. The first section is
called Basic Microeconomic Concepts and Institutions. In this section, we discuss terms such
as scarcity, trade-offs, opportunity cost, efficiency, equity, efficiency, equilibrium, and supply
and demand. This section will introduce you to the ways in which economists reason, and I hope
to convince you that this way of thinking will give you important insights about how we interact
with the world around us. We will use these concepts to understand the nature of the key
institutions which organize our economic life.
Section II is entitled Measuring Economic Activity. It is nearly impossible to
understand how our economy works if we cannot develop effective measures of economic
performance. Because economic activity is highly differentiated, there is no one measure
appropriate for our study. Thus, we will examine measures of productive activity, GDP;
measures of labor market activity, the Labor Force Participation Rate and the Unemployment
Rate; measures of economic welfare, the Human Development Index; and measures of price
stability, the Inflation Rate.
Section III is entitled Economic Growth. One of the most astonishing features of the
modern world is that we now experience constant change in production and consumption habits.
More and more people of the world have at least for now escaped material privation. We have
far more options than we used to. This section will define growth more precisely, explore the
causes of growth, and consider the consequences of this constant revolutionizing of our material
life. We will also examine questions related to the ecological and social sustainability of our
capitalist growth process by examining problems related to global warming and inequality.
Section IV is called Short-Run Macroeconomics. In this, our longest section of the
class, you will learn about the role of money and financial markets in our economy, the causes of
unemployment and inflation, and what the government tries to do to influence the direction of
the economy. This section should allow you read the business press more intelligently and
Section V is called Global Macroeconomics. In this section, we will examine how the
globalization of our economy has changed long-run macroeconomic dynamics and also altered
the policies we use to influence how our economy operates.
My goal for this class is straightforward. I want to help create a more intelligent and
engaged group of citizens who understand basic economic issues and can participate in those
policy debates that are so important to our lives in the present and future.
Learning Outcomes
General Education classes attempt to give students different skills and ways of looking at the
world that can help them negotiate future courses and, more importantly, appreciate and
understand more deeply the world around them.
This section of Economics 100 has the following two learning outcomes.
1. Critical Inquiry: Systematic questioning and analysis of problems, issues, and
claims. The essay questions on economic growth and economic globalization will
ask you to confront important dilemmas facing the human community. We will be
asking you to use the conceptual tools of economics to develop a deeper analysis of
these issues.
2. Quantitative literacy and symbolic reasoning: Applying mathematical, statistical,
and symbolic reasoning to complex problems and decision making. Our weekly
homework assignments and quizzes, as well as our two midterm examinations will
rigorously test your ability to use graphs and symbols to study the ways in which
markets and the aggregate economy function

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