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Structure of The Humanities - Economics domain

The Economics domain is organised into three sections, one for each level of achievement from Levels 4 to 6. Each level includes a learning focus statement and a set of standards organised by dimension. A glossary is included which provides definitions of underlined terms.

Learning focus

Learning focus statements are written for each of Levels 4, 5 and 6. At Levels 1 to 3, basic concepts related to history, geography and economics are included under a general umbrella of ‘The Humanities’. Learning focus statements outline the learning that students need to focus on if they are to progress in the domain and achieve the standards at the levels where they apply. They suggest appropriate learning experiences from which teachers can draw to develop relevant teaching and learning activities.


Standards define what students should know and be able to do at different levels and are written for each dimension. In the Humanities, standards for assessing and reporting on student achievement are introduced at Level 3. These focus on historical and geographical knowledge and understanding. Specific standards for Economics apply from Level 4.


Standards in the Economics domain are organised in two dimensions:

Economic knowledge and understanding

The Economic knowledge and understanding dimension focuses on economic concepts, principles, methods and models. Students learn how their needs and wants are met and understand their roles as producers, workers and consumers and recognise the impact of market forces. They learn that economic decisions are about the allocation of resources in producing goods and services and about the distribution of the proceeds of production and that these decisions have local, national and global consequences. They explore the importance and the role of enterprise and entrepreneurship in the production process and in the construction, development and prosperity of an economic system.

Students learn how to manage their personal finances and how to be informed consumers. They explore the world of work in order to develop the ability to make informed decisions about their future education and training needs, and employment.

Students investigate factors affecting the Australian and international economies and the role of government in establishing conditions for economic activity and they develop the ability to use economic knowledge and understanding to evaluate economic decisions and policies.

Economic reasoning and interpretation

The Economic reasoning and interpretation dimension covers the nature of economic thinking. Students learn to use and practise rational, objective decision making by applying economic reasoning, including the fundamental economic concepts of opportunity cost and cost-benefit analysis, to solve problems which assist them in understanding the economy, society and environment. They develop an ability to identify, collect and process data from a range of sources, including electronic media, and to interpret tables, charts and graphs displaying economic data. They learn to clarify and justify personal values and attitudes about issues affecting the economy, society and environment. They develop an understanding of the strengths and limitations of economic reasoning and its relationship to other sources of decision making.

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