Anna Emilia Berti and Anna Silvia Bombi

The Child's Construction of Economics

Cambridge University Press
ISBN 0-521-33299-0

This book is currently out of print, but the University of Padua, Italy, has it digitally on their website at this address:

Grade focus: K-2, 3-5, 6-8

The Child's Construction of Economics explores students' understanding of elements of the economic system. The authors review and discuss existing literature on students' conceptions of economics, and then analyze the empirical studies they have undertaken with Italian children between three and fourteen years of age.

Topics discussed in the book include students' ideas about work, property, the uses of money, profit, sources of goods and production, laws, and political organization. These topics relate not only to several topics within Science for All Americans (SFAA) Chapter 7: Human Society, but also to SFAA Chapter 8: The Designed World, Section 8B: Materials and Manufacturing.

The book's readable style and lively excerpts from student interviews should make it both interesting and stimulating for teachers. They should be cautioned, though, that since students' environments may influence their economic ideas, some of the study's findings may not apply to children in other countries.