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The principle of coherence states that:

'The curriculum offers all students a broad education that makes links within and across learning areas, provides for coherent transitions, and opens up pathways to further learning.'

NZC, p.9

Links | Pathways

Links to other curriculum

Students need opportunities to develop connections across a wide range of experiences, supporting the skills necessary for lifelong learning.

They need to understand how their learning in economics can connect to and build on other learning areas, and life outside and beyond school. When they do, it is a powerful tool to motivate, engage, and enhance the relevance of their learning.

Economics has particularly close links to other social science subjects, and also with mathematics and statistics, and agricultural and horticultural science. Teachers may choose to work with their colleagues to help examine the ways in which economics and other subjects can complement and support one another. A group of teachers may consider planning a cross curricula teaching sequence/unit, across learning areas, with a focus on key competencies and values.

Economics contributes naturally to other social sciences, for example, by providing knowledge to support:

  • the analysis of historical events
  • an understanding of trade, tourism, and migration patterns
  • a recognition of the reasons for conflicts and their impact
  • examination of the benefits of resource management for sustainability.

Economics also shares common ground with business and accounting, particularly in relation to the different costs that exist.

Economists often use the language of mathematics and statistics, for example, when gathering and analysing macro- and microeconomic statistical information. (Tertiary study in economics usually requires continued study in mathematics.)

The sciences have a major role in primary production and in supporting technological development in the New Zealand economy, and scientific developments help develop production methods. Agricultural and horticultural science in The New Zealand Curriculum focuses on three inter-related strands:

  • primary production
  • the environment
  • economies of production.

Agricultural and horticultural industries are the drivers of New Zealand’s economic, social, and environmental development. The products of primary production are the source of well-being for past, present, and future generations. The application of primary production management practices ensure production of desirable primary products demanded by local and world markets in an ecologically and economically sustainable manner.

Studies in health education examine the health effects of goods and services that have positive spill over effects on society (such as vaccinations) or negative spill over effects (such as alcohol).

Adaptation and innovation in technology affect production and decisions about consumption, and they also provide opportunities for entrepreneurship.

Knowledge of foreign languages and cultures is an economic advantage to any business person operating in the global economy, just as knowledge of our official languages and community languages and cultures is useful in New Zealand.

Connections beyond the school environment

Economics enables students to connect with the real world. Economics teachers can bring the world into the classroom, for example by using current media technology or guest speakers, or take the classroom into the world, for example, by arranging a field trip to a farm or a local business or by helping the students choose, plan, fund, and organise their own trip.

Learning pathways

As well as exposing students to a range of possible careers, economics connects students to the business community as well as financial institutions and government institutions such as the Reserve Bank and Treasury.

All students who study economics gain the knowledge, skills, and attributes to make more effective decisions about what they spend their money on, how they spend their income, the cost of borrowing, as well as contribute effectively to a business or community organisation. They are likely to be more knowledgeable consumers and better able to manage personal or household finances.

Some students may pursue further qualifications in economics at polytechnics, wānanga, or universities.

Economics can lead to a range of future career options. Specialist economists work for government agencies, various businesses (both in New Zealand and overseas), manufacturing, communications, insurance, banks and finance companies. However, the knowledge and skills gained through economics can be used in a wide range of occupations such as in research and analysis, administration, education.

In all these settings, employers value an economics student’s understanding of decision-making, their research and analytical skills, and their experience of viewing problems in their national and international context.

At tertiary

Students who go on to higher education may study economics as a speciality or part of a more general business or finance programme.

Economists are interested in the factors that influence the well-being of people and aim to find solutions to improve people's standard of living. This includes studying how financial, labour and trade markets are organised and how they interact.

Learning for life

Economics enables students to have the tools and knowledge to make good financial decisions in their own lives as well contribute to the future well being of New Zealand. Students develop the capabilities to:

  • understand why governments make decisions such as how much tax people pay and how it is spent
  • understand how businesses price their products and convince consumers to buy things they may or may not want
  • apply mathematical and statistical skills to economic knowledge
  • research and analyse data
  • work with models that help to explain how we spend money as individuals, as businesses and as governments.

Last updated March 21, 2012