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Effects of Problem Based Economics on High School Economics Instruction: Final Report

By Neal Finkelstein, Thomas Hanson, Kevin (Chun-Wei) Huang, Becca Klarin, Min Huang


The primary purpose of this REL West study is to assess student-level impacts of a problem-based instructional approach to high school economics. The study was designed as a within-school randomized controlled trial. Economics is a required course for high school graduation in California and, as of the 2008/09 school year, Arizona, the two study states.

The curriculum approach examined here was designed to increase class participation and content knowledge for high school students who are learning economics. This study tests the effectiveness of Problem Based Economics, developed by the Buck Institute for Education, on student learning of economics content and problem-solving skills. Student achievement outcomes are of primary importance and are hypothesized to be mediated by changes in teacher knowledge and pedagogical practice.

This study targeted high schools in both urban and rural areas and engaged teachers who committed to teach economics during the 2007/08 academic year.

A short summary is also available.

Information about the REL system and other REL publications can be found at the National Regional Educational Laboratory Program website.

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Format: PDF
Pages: 117
Publisher: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

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