WHY is this skill important?

  • Economic decision making helps students focus on making a choice BEFORE it is made
  • It helps students be more thoughtful about all the possibilities and consequences before they make a choice
  • Making a choice because the benefits outweigh the costs—has life-long benefits
  • Considering past decisions using the same thought processes helps to understand why the choice was made, and to critically evaluate whether it was a good one. It can be
    • viewed from their perspective at the time
    • viewed in hindsight, from your perspective, what would you have done then—or now

Using Economic Decision-making Models to Become Informed Decision-makers

The 2015 History/Social Science SOL added skills to be emphasized K-12 which include using decision-making models to make informed decisions.

three basic decision models

  1.  Cost-Benefit Decision Model: To decide whether or not to do something—when the choice is “yes” or “no”
  2.  Cost-Benefit Decision Tree:To help decide between two choices. In essence, it combines two Cost-Benefit models
  3.  PACED Decision Model: Used when there are various options/alternatives but also certain things/criteria that are important to you.  Problem; Alternatives; Criteria; Evaluate; and Decision
    Lesson for an example using PACED: “What Pet Should I Get?” Dr. Seuss and Decision Making published on EconEdLink.org

Which of the three decision models you use depends on whether the question/issue is basically “yes or no;” there are two alternatives or multiple alternatives. Click here for an example of each.
K-5 Curriculum examples.

The more students practice the decision-making skill, the greater likelihood it becomes intuitive and they will make more informed decisions or be able to better analyze decisions made by others.