Online for the 2023-2024 School Year
Teacher: Mr. Burns
Application: click here
AP Microeconomics is the study of how the economy functions from the perspective of individual businesses and consumers. We will consider topics such as the basics of supply and demand in a free market, how businesses operate when faced with different forms of marketplace competition, how companies make decisions about how much labor to hire, the benefits of international trade, and the proper role of government in the economy. Some examples of fun topics we will cover include:
- Using elasticity concepts to combat child labor
- Why the government wants to break up Google's advertising business
- Price fixing arrangements in the British toy industry
- Game theory and a prisoner's dilemma simulation
- Prediction markets in sports and politics
If you are interested in business or government, or just want a good foundation in economic principles, this will be a great course for you!
- Full-year section: $600 until July 1st, then $650.
- One-semester section: $450.
- Principles of Economics, by Libby Rittenberg and Timothy Tregarthen. Available for free at https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_principles-of-economics-v2.0/ and as a PDF download here.
- MyEconLab from Pearson (www.myeconlab.com). Don't buy anything until I send you specific registration instructions. This is the only item you have to buy.
- All other materials (videos, games, extra readings, etc) are available by free download.
Full-year or one-semester options: This course will offer two sections, one that runs for the whole school year (September 1st to May) and the other that runs just for the second semester (late January to May):
- The full-year course is intended for students who have not taken AP Economics before. It covers basic economic concepts before moving on to the material specific to AP Microeconomics. It moves at a slower pace, but also includes more enhancements related to free-market principles and other supplementary activities. The full-year section will run from September 1st until the AP exam, usually in the second week of May.
- The semester course is only for students who have already taken AP Macroeconomics. Students may take AP Macro with me or with Howard Richman in the fall semester and then AP Micro in the spring semester, or students who have taken AP Macro in a previous year may enroll in this option. The textbook is the same book that Dr. Richman and I use for Macro. The semester course will move faster and assumes knowledge of basic economic principles. This option will run from late January until the AP May around the second week of May.
Who should apply: Homeschooled students in grades 9-12 for the 2023-2024 school year are welcome. Economics emphasizes analytical reasoning, so those who are strong in math will probably grasp the material more quickly. Students should expect to spend 60-90 minutes per day on this course in the full-year version and 90-120 in the semester version. There are no prerequisites. Younger students who are good in math may find the full-year course a good starter course in the AP program.
Course description: The primary goal for this course is preparation for the AP exam in Microeconomics. We will pursue a rigorous course of study using college-level materials. The main textbook will be supplemented with outside readings, videos from Hillsdale College and the Khan Academy, and interactive activities. An important part of the class will be assignments drawn from previous AP exams. Students will be expected to look for “economics in the news” articles and participate regularly on the discussion board. There are also several games involved, including the airline game, a stock market game, an oligopoly simulation (see class showcase), and more.
Along the way, the course will emphasize understanding of and appreciation for the principles of a free-market economy. My perspective and training is one that emphasizes limited government intervention, and I teach this perspective in our discussions, additional readings, and videos such as those from Hillsdale College. At the same time, we will explore the concepts of market failure and public goods and what is the proper role of government.
Interaction: This course is designed to be highly interactive both among students and between student and instructor. Note that there is *not* a specific time when the class meets in a live setting. Students are expected to check the website daily and participate regularly, but not at any particular time of day. Other than certain optional activities, everything is available around the clock to accommodate different schedules and even students living around the world. We will, however, organize an (optional) weekly live chat session for review and interaction, typically led by my TAs who were outstanding students in previous years. Typically I will be available for online "office hours" most weekday mornings for getting questions answered quickly or reviewing material.
Previous results: Since I started offering this course in 2014-2015, students have done remarkably well on the AP exam. In 2022, the average score was 4.26 compared to a national average of 2.93. Everyone in the full-year class who took the AP exam got a 4 or a 5. A few years ago, one student correctly answered every single question on the test (and got a special commendation letter from the College Board for this rare achievement!).
Technical requirements: High speed internet access, Microsoft Word or Open Office, scanner or digital camera for posting hand-drawn graphs.
Instructor Qualifications: This will be my 13th year teaching economics to high school students and the 9th I have taught AP Microeconomics. I love economics and the related fields of politics, history, and culture. I have also been a classroom teacher, served as Administrator and AP Coordinator for Puebla Christian School in Puebla, Mexico, and wrote AP curriculum for a major online publisher. I am a PHAA graduate, my bachelor’s degree is in Government from Patrick Henry College, and my master's degree is in Business Administration from Regent University. My wife Florina and I have two beautiful daughters, Azrielle (9) and Avianna (6).
Application: click here