When I ask my students: ‘What is money?’, they hardly ever know. Most adults don’t either. This lesson looks at what money is, how the banking crisis happened, what the difference between good debt and bad debt is, and the current global inequality in wealth. It includes individual and group work activities, as well as whole class discussions, to try and stimulate students understanding and critical engagement with the world as it is. A lesson that could work as an introduction for economics, PHSE, SEAL, SMSC and Careers lessons for children aged 11+. Extensions, start and plenary are included to aid differentiation and the learning journey. Learning questions also increase in difficulty as the lesson progresses.
Learning questions include:
What is money?
What’s the difference between good debt and bad debt?
What is crypto-currency?
Extension: Is financial inequality out of control, and if so how can it be resolved?
Instructions on how to use the resource are in the notes of the powerpoint, which also includes a number of youtube videos, and included here is also a short word document which has some of the debate about where money originated from and what preceded it. This document is made from a summary of Graeber’s recent work and watching the ‘crash course’ video on money. Adam Smith’s idea that barter preceded minted coinage seems, in recent academia, to be incorrect. Rather, minted metal coinage seems to have been part of a ‘military-mining-slavery complex’ where wars created slaves to mine metal to pay soldiers.