Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Senior Secondary navigation


Section menu

Learning programme design

Setting up


You are here:

Learning programme design

Setting up an economics programme

An economics programme should consider the particular needs, interests and circumstances of the students in a school’s economic classes.

Engaging economics programmes are based on effective pedagogy

Economics programmes depend on effective pedagogy. When planning, keep in mind the four mechanisms:

  • connection
  • alignment
  • community
  • interest.


Encourage students to use their own experiences as a point of comparison when learning about other people’s experiences in different times, places, and cultures. The contexts and resources should make diversity visible and avoid biased and stereotypical representations. Students need to feel that what they are learning connects with and values their experiences.


Activities and resources need to be aligned so that students are able to develop understandings of the key concepts in economics. The aims of the programme should be made transparent to students. Learning opportunities should not be pre-programmed to the extent that they cannot be changed in response to assessment, and they should provide opportunity for students to revisit important content and processes. Assessment should focus on assessing valued learning.


Programmes should be designed to develop students’ interaction skills and use practices that include different abilities and levels of contribution. Tasks and experiences that require student-student interaction are best. Wherever possible, students should be involved in making decisions about their own learning. Students need to be given the opportunity to identify possible roles for themselves, to think critically, and to participate in authentic economic activities.


Programmes should deliberately offer learning experiences that are sensitive to students’ differing interests, motivations, and responses and provide a variety of experiences that become anchors for learning and recall. Local contexts can engage students with the community.

Questions to ask when planning your programme

  • What community expertise can I help my students’ access for a real world understanding of economics?
  • How am I planning for reflection and feedback?
  • How am I planning to revisit concepts and/or explore them in different contexts?
  • Do my plans develop the students’ economic knowledge, skills, and understanding in an organised, systematic, and rigorous way?
  • Is there a balance in my programme between overview and depth? Have I provided sufficient in-depth opportunities to enable students to explore key economic issues in detail and to produce significant outcomes?
  • What is significant, diverse, engaging, and meaningful for my students about the issues and themes included in this programme?
  • Is my programme exciting, motivating, accessible, challenging, and relevant for each of my students? How does it tap into the cultural knowledge and experience of diverse students?
  • Does my programme provide a coherent experience? Will it help my students to make links and connections between different aspects of economic understanding?
  • Have I constructed a balanced approach to the local, national, and world dimensions of economics?
  • Have I built in an expectation of progress in terms of depth, range, scale, and complexity of study?
  • Have I made provision to revisit and reinforce concepts in different contexts?
  • Do my plans account for the students’ prior and future experiences in economics?
  • Have I provided opportunities for a wide range of teaching and learning experiences, including visits to local businesses and other appropriate organisations? What risk management requirements will I need to meet?
  • Do my students have access to, and the opportunity to work with, a wide and diverse range of economic materials?
  • Do my plans encourage students to use information and communication technology (ICT) effectively?

The New Zealand Curriculum and economics

An effective economics programme will give effect to The New Zealand Curriculum. The principles should underpin and guide economic programme design.

Economics programmes include learning outcomes related to:

The design will give students learning opportunities to develop and explore the values from the NZC that the school is encouraging and modelling.

The design will support students to develop the key competencies.

An effective economics programme will engage students in the key economic conceptual understandings.

Here is an example of how an economics department might start to think about integrating the NZC into a level 6 programme:

  1. Begin by making a jigsaw made up of the principles, values (that are important to your school), key competencies as well as the key economic concepts and achievement objective indicators from this guide.
  2. You could brainstorm each AO indicator to determine a context that would allow the key economic conceptual understandings to be developed. As you are brainstorming you could add the key competencies or values that could be developed or fore grounded in this context. Finally you could identify the principles that are likely to underpin the design.

Last updated August 14, 2019