Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 16:37:08 MST From: Renee Buchanan [RBUCHAN@ssb1.saff.utah.edu]
University of Utah
Economics 202 "Principles of Macro Economics" 4 quarter credit hours
This course introduces students to macroeconomics; which "... studies national and international economic issues relating to government policy, institutional structure, and economic stability. Basic models of growth, stability in employment and inflation, and government spending and monetary policy are developed and presented in historical context." (General Catalog, 1996/97). Servicelearning is incorporated with this course to show that macroeconomic issues are social issues affecting peoples' everyday lives, thus contextualizing seemingly abstract and far removed theoretical ideas in textbooks. This approach also helps in synthesizing learning by doing, observing, experiencing, reflecting, reading, writing and sharing ideas. We will attempt to provide a useful service to the local community and connect some of the contemporary issues to more abstract ideas lying in the realm of macroeconomics text-books. Students will volunteer with local non-profit agencies. This course is to be taught in Summer, 1997 with a maximum enrollment of 70 participants.
On Meeting Service-learning criteria
Important Note: this class has two sections: a service-learning section and a non-service-learning section which is like any regular class.
What is the purpose of this course?
The purpose of the course is to introduce you to basics of macroeconomics and help you understand basic concepts and reasoning behind related newspaper articles. At the completion of this course it is hoped that you will be able to see the reasoning behind policies, such as, changes in discount rate by the Federal Reserve .
What am I going to do to achieve this purpose?
This course provides basic theoretical background. You will be encouraged to think about some of these issues through choosing the service-learning section of this class, keeping a journal, taking quizzes, a final and writing a paper.
How much of economic theory will I study? How much mathematics do I need to know? You will spend significant time going through some theoretical basics in macroeconomics. This is to give you enough theory to get you started and help you understand the issues better.
Mathematics you will require for this class is the basic arithmetic, geometry and algebra taught in high schools. Some concepts that you will require are: Slope of a straight line, arithmetic manipulation of numbers with decimals (e.g., 1.575 + 6574.7843 = 6576.3593, 3.5x2.5 = 8.75), percentage calculations (22% of 60 = 22/100 x 60 = 13.2 and 23 is 40.35% of 57, since 23/57 x 100 = 40.35), square and cube of a number (e.g. 2x2 = 2 2= 4, 2x2x2 = 2 3 = 8, 2x2x2x2x2 = 2' = 32), manipulations of fractions (e.g., I/(I-0.25) = 1/0.75 = 100/75 = 4/3 = 1+1/3 = 1.33333...
Textbooks for this course are:
Please take notes in the class since we may not follow the textbook to the word. If you miss a class please make arrangements to get class notes from someone.
Other required readings:
(1) You are required to subscribe to a daily news-paper of your choice. We will use this to discuss contemporary issues.
(2) We will have additional readings which can be obtained from the Reserve Desk at the Marriot Library.
For Service Learning section: each student will choose a local non-profit agency for service learning. Student will be working as a volunteer in the agency for 3 hours per week. Students will work with: Life-care Services (working with elders and disabled), Housing Authority (tutoring children) or Utah Issues (Alternatives to GNP as measures of well-being).
Three Quizzes: Quiz #1 will comprise of TEN multiple-choice (40 points) and ONE short answer question (10 points). Quiz #2 will comprise of TEN multiple-choice (40 points) and ONE short answer question (10 points). These will be held during the classes. The course-material covered will approximately be as follows:
Quiz #1 Course covered in weeks I - 2. Quiz #2 Course covered in weeks 3 - 5.
Final Examination: Final will be comprehensive. It will comprise of 30 multiple choice (30 points) and 2 short answer questions (20 points).
2 Journals (one page, single spaced each): for service-learning students. The purpose of this is to make you think about the issue you are working on, the information you are collecting and discuss them with other people and write an informative journal. The way you can do this is keep a journal (a notebook) and make entries as you collect information or do service. To bring issues into focus you can ask yourself three questions: what?, so what?, now what? That is, What have you come across (an information, an event, a happening); so what is the significance of this? How is this related to macroeconomics? Now what else do you need to know and what are the different ways of interpreting the same event/information. Submitted journal entries will be based on your notebook-journal. Journals are due on the Tuesdays of 3rd and 6th weeks.
One issue-paper topic: for students not doing service-lea Due on the Thursday of the 2nd week. This will be a one or two page explanation of the paper topic/s that you are thinking of writing on. You can explain %what the issue is, what you already know about the issue and what kind of information you will look for (can mention some possible sources).