Date of Graduation

7-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Mounir A. Farah

Committee Member

Jason Endacott

Second Committee Member

Felicia Lincoln

Third Committee Member

Michael Wavering

Abstract

Economic literacy is recognized as a deficit quality in the United States, no more prevalent than during the last great recession. It is paramount the K-12 educational system lead the movement to educate the public on economic content and issues, as it is the one institution that has direct contact with all citizens. The question then must be asked, how economic literate are teachers entrusted with the responsibility of imparting economic knowledge to his/her K-12 grade level student. A sample of Arkansas teachers at each grade level K – 12 were tested using national normed economic literacy tests designed to test the economic knowledge of their respective grade level student. Using multiple regression, one-way and factorial ANOVA, and one-way MANOVA to analyze the data, a picture of both economic knowledge and teacher human capital investment in economics emerged. Teacher data were analyzed using a composite score, an economic content score, and scores on each of the twenty voluntary national content standards in economics as defined by the Council for Economic Education. A correlation of the voluntary national content standards in economics to Arkansas social studies curriculum frameworks allowed for analysis of Arkansas teachers’ mastery on content set forth in the curriculum standards. Elementary teachers were best prepared to cover their grade level economic curriculum content and high school teachers the least prepared whether the high school content was taught in a stand-alone class or infused into another social studies course. The number of professional workshops attended were the best predictor of success on the grade level economic literacy test. Recommendations discussed include economic educational preparation of socials studies teachers and grade specific professional development workshops accompanied by pedagogical techniques.