An innovative intervention for the teaching of economics at school: "The E square Project"

An innovative intervention for the teaching of economics at school: "The E square Project"

Within the framework of the Teacher Education Program of the Athens University of Economics and Business, the team "The E square Project" in collaboration with Dr. V. Brinia and the members of the Program's scientific team, M. Papachiou, K. Antonopoulou and A. Economou, presented the teaching methodology of the actions "Banking 101" and "Ask an economist". The two actions constitute an innovative banking educational program, which aims to prepare high school students for the labor market, the management of banking products and services, as well as to fight against financial illiteracy.

The seminar was developed in three meetings: On Friday 01/04/2022, Friday 08/04/2022 and Friday 15/04/2022, the students of the Teacher Education Program, attended Mr. S. Fetanis's presentation of the educational program in three phases, within the framework of the aforementioned action.

The structure of the educational program in schools is as follows: During the first hour of the program, high school students are trained in the concepts of money, the banking system, bank accounts, debit and credit cards. In the second hour, they learn about the operation of the interest rate and the ways that it contributes to the management of consumer's money. In the third hour, students use the virtual e-banking platform which has been specially designed for educational simulation purposes. Through the platform, students make money transfers "within the bank", "outside the bank", "abroad" and "pay bills". They learn about bank charges and the use of the exchange rate of currencies as well as the operation of the Central Bank. In the second hour of the seminar, the future educators organized a three-hour teaching session about banking and the "Banking 101" program. In the third/final hour of the educational program in high schools, the students also take up the role of a banker! In the form of a simulation, the university students adopted the role of a banker in the final session of the seminar as well. After being informed about the basic principles of loan approval by banks, they were asked to choose and approve fictitious loan applications by arguing about the creditworthiness of 'customers'. Finally, the future educators were asked to explain the concepts of banking to teenage students in a simulation.

The Program's students were thrilled by the learning outcomes of the educational action "The E square Project" as well as its experientiality and practical benefit, thus reinforcing the idea of teaching the use of this approach and discussing the possibilities of its integration into the teaching of financial students at school.

The aim of the "Teacher Education Program" curriculum of the Athens University of Economics and Business is for prospective teachers to realize that teaching is not a matter of "applying prescriptions" but a creative process so that the subjects taught in economics within the school are perceived not only verbally and logically, but also through active educational techniques, which promote the revision of the way of thinking and the practices applied in the teaching of the subject at school.

see photos from the actio here