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Economics and Business

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  1. 5-6
  2. 7-8
  3. 9-10

Levels 5 and 6

Levels 5 and 6 Description

In Levels 5 and 6, students explore the importance of economic and financial decision-making in everyday life. They consider the concept of opportunity cost and examine why decisions about the ways resources are allocated to meet needs and wants in their community involve trade-offs.

Students examine the choices made by consumers and businesses arising from the concept of scarcity. The limited...

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Levels 5 and 6 Content Descriptions

Resource Allocation and Making Choices

  1. Describe the difference between needs and wants and explain why choices need to be made (VCEBR001)
    Elaborations
    1. listing all the items individuals would like to have and categorising these items as a need or a want
    2. explaining why individuals cannot have all the items they want and therefore must make a choice (scarcity)
    3. discussing whether one person’s need is another person’s need or want
  2. Explore the concept of opportunity cost and explain how it involves choices about the alternative use of limited resources and the need to consider trade-offs (VCEBR002)
    Elaborations
    1. explaining why when one choice is made about how to use a resource, the next best alternative is not available (trade-off). For example, if a student chooses to spend their time (resource) riding their bike after school, they cannot go for a swim (trade-off)
  3. Identify types of resources (natural, human, capital) and explore the ways societies use them in order to satisfy the needs and wants of present and future generations (VCEBR003)
    Elaborations
    1. brainstorming resources that are used in their school and categorising them as natural (water, coal, oil), human (workers, business owners, designing, making, thinking) and capital (tools, machines, technologies)
    2. listing the needs and wants of a local community and exploring the ways resources are allocated to meet these needs and wants

Consumer and Financial Literacy

  1. Identify influences on consumer choices and explore strategies that can be used to help make informed personal consumer and financial choices (VCEBC004)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying examples of goods and services purchased and listing and explaining the factors that influenced their decision, for example, price, fashion, peer pressure, advertising, taste
    2. identifying the variety of selling and advertising strategies used by businesses, for example, television and internet advertising and email promotions
    3. exploring the strategies that can be used when making consumer and financial decisions, for example, comparing prices, keeping a record of money spent, saving for the future
  2. Consider the effect that the consumer and financial decisions of individuals may have on themselves, their family, the broader community and the natural, economic and business environment (VCEBC005)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring how a decision to buy an item affects the family, for example, ‘Did the family have to put off buying another item to have this one?’ or 'Does what my family buys in the supermarket affect what businesses might sell or produce?'
    2. explaining the benefits to themselves and their family of having savings and/or a strategy for saving
    3. investigating whether buying at the local supermarket helps the local community
    4. considering if their actions have an effect on the environment, for example, does choosing to use recycling shopping bags have an effect on the natural environment?

The Business Environment

  1. Identify the reasons businesses exist and investigate the different ways they produce and distribute goods and services (VCEBB006)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying why businesses exist and investigating the different ways that goods and services are produced, for example, hand-crafted, large and small scale businesses, and distributed, for example, through shopping centres, local markets, online, small independent stores, remote community stores
    2. explaining the difference between not-for-profit and for-profit businesses
    3. identifying different industry sectors, such as agriculture, information, tourism, telecommunications, and discussing what they produce or provide

Work and Work Futures

  1. Explore the nature and meaning of work and why individuals choose to participate in work (VCEBW007)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring types of work, for example, full-time, part-time, casual, paid, unpaid, volunteer
    2. investigating the reasons people work, for example, by conducting a class survey of parents’ and/or friends’ reasons for working
  2. Investigate the influences on the ways people work and explore factors affecting work now and into the future (VCEBW008)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating the effect factors such as online shopping, technological change or outsourcing of labour, have on the way work is conducted
    2. mapping the trend of the ageing population and predicting possible future effects on the workforce
    3. exploring changing societal values on work and the work environment such as work-life balance and working from home

Enterprising Behaviours and Capabilities

  1. Investigate the nature and explain the importance of enterprising behaviours and capabilities (VCEBN009)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating behaviours that are considered enterprising and why, for example, taking initiative in classroom activities to help propose actions to economics or business issues or events
    2. brainstorming the reasons why enterprising behaviours and capabilities are important for individuals and businesses
    3. using a mindmap to plan how they might use their enterprising behaviours and capabilities in classroom or school activities
    4. developing an innovative response when faced with a challenge or problem
    5. practising a range of enterprising behaviours in setting up a class activity, for example, the class running a lunchtime disco to raise money for their school

Economic and Business Reasoning and Interpretation

  1. Make decisions, identify appropriate actions by considering the advantages and disadvantages, and form conclusions concerning an economics or business issue or event (VCEBE010)
    Elaborations
    1. weighing up options involved in a decision, for example, purchasing a phone by comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each available option
    2. making an individual purchasing decision based on an analysis of the trade-offs involved
    3. identifying the effect of consumers purchasing items from a range of sources on local businesses, for example, ‘What is the effect on the local shopping centre if consumers purchase more goods online rather than in local shops?’
    4. taking action to share their findings with audiences beyond the classroom, such as presenting at a school assembly, writing a letter to the editor of the local newspaper or their local member of parliament

Levels 5 and 6 Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 6, students distinguish between needs and wants and recognise that choices need to be made when allocating resources. They recognise that consumer choices and financial decisions are influenced by a range of factors and describe the effects of these choices and decisions on themselves, their family, others, the economy and the natural, economic and business environments. Students identify strategies that will assist in making informed consumer and financial decisions. They explain the purpose of business and recognise the different ways that businesses choose to provide goods and services. Students outline the many reasons why people work and describe the changing nature of work. They describe the nature of enterprising behaviours and capabilities and explain why these behaviours are important for individuals and businesses. Students outline the advantages and disadvantages of proposed actions in response to an economics and/or business issue or event and identify the possible effects of their decisions on themselves and others.

Levels 7 and 8

Levels 7 and 8 Description

In Levels 7 and 8, students consider what it means to be a consumer, a worker and a producer in the market and the relationships between, and interdependence of, these groups. The ways markets work within Australia to set prices, the participants in the market system and the ways these participants may influence the market’s operation are explored.

Students investigate how businesses...

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Levels 7 and 8 Content Descriptions

Resource Allocation and Making Choices

  1. Examine the ways consumers and producers respond to and influence each other in the market, particularly through price mechanism (VCEBR011)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how consumers rely on businesses to meet their needs and wants
    2. identifying and creating a list of who is involved in the market system in Australia
    3. explaining the influence of buyers and sellers on prices and how markets enable the distribution and allocation of resources, including examining how businesses answer questions of what to produce, how to produce and for whom to produce
    4. examining how businesses respond to the demands of consumers, such as preferences for healthy options, environmentally friendly packaging or organic food
    5. considering how consumers might influence producers in other countries to provide goods and services, such as those in the Asia region
    6. describing how goods and services are produced
  2. Identify why and how markets may be influenced by government (VCEBR012)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying different types of markets that operate in Australia such as retail markets, labour markets, financial markets, stock markets
    2. identifying examples of government involvement in the market where some types of goods and services are not provided sufficiently, for example, healthcare and social security

Consumer and Financial Literacy

  1. Investigate the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses in terms of financial and economic decision making (VCEBC013)
    Elaborations
    1. creating a list of the rights of consumers and businesses to compare with the responsibilities of consumers and businesses
    2. investigating the ways the rights of consumers are protected through the law, for example, warranties, cooling-off periods
    3. identifying examples of how businesses are required by government to protect the safety of consumers, for example, mandatory and voluntary standards, product safety recalls
  2. Explain the reasons why and the ways in which individuals and businesses set, prioritise and plan to achieve financial and organisational goals (VCEBC014)
    Elaborations
    1. prioritising short-term personal financial objectives and identifying how these objectives can be achieved, for example, through developing a budget and having a savings plan
    2. explaining the need for setting long-term personal financial objectives and listing ways of achieving these objectives, for example, investment, superannuation or savings
    3. explaining how financial records such as income statements, budgets and cash flow inform business decision-making

The Business Environment

  1. Explore and observe the characteristics of entrepreneurs and successful businesses (VCEBB015)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating well-known entrepreneurs and identifying the behaviours and skills that they bring to their business, for example, establishing a shared vision, demonstrating initiative, innovation and enterprise
    2. observing local businesses to identify factors that contribute to their success, for example, location, quality of service, a high-quality product, sound management practices

Work and Work Futures

  1. Consider the ways in which work can contribute to individual and societal wellbeing (VCEBW016)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring ways that work can affect an individual’s self-esteem, material and non-material living standards and happiness
    2. investigating the ways work affects the economy such as avoiding poverty (relative and absolute), productivity, and generating income
  2. Describe the nature and investigate the influences on the work environment (VCEBW017)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating present influences on the ways people work, such as technological change, outsourced labour in the global economy, rapid communication changes
    2. identifying changes to the workforce over time, such as the jobs available, the way individuals or communities value particular work, career length and human resource development
    3. predicting changes to work in the future and possible outcomes, for example, ‘What could be the effect of a changing attitude to work–life balance or the decline of some industries?’

Enterprising Behaviours and Capabilities

  1. Explain the role of enterprising behaviours and capabilities in the work environment and explore how individuals and businesses can use them (VCEBN018)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring types of enterprising behaviours and capabilities and how they are used in businesses
    2. recording the enterprising behaviours and capabilities used during the day and analysing how they might be improved
    3. identifying the enterprising behaviours and capabilities used by entrepreneurs and successful businesses and comparing these to behaviours of ‘not so successful’ businesses

Economic and Business Reasoning and Interpretation

  1. Identify relationships and trends, and generate a range of alternatives for an economic or business issue or event, evaluating the potential costs and benefits of each alternative and the consequences of proposed actions (VCEBE019)
    Elaborations
    1. interpreting tables, charts and graphs containing economic or business data to identify trends and using the data to make predictions about future trends, for example, trends in online shopping
    2. examining the trade-offs involved in making choices
    3. investigating how businesses identify opportunities in the market
    4. undertaking a cost-benefit analysis of alternatives proposed and making a decision about which one to recommend
    5. discussing the consequences of an economic or business decision, and reflecting on whether this was the ‘best’ decision and what might be the effect of alternative actions
    6. developing skills to contest and debate ideas and to express opinions on economics and business issues that interest and/or affect them or society

Levels 7 and 8 Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 8, students describe the interdependence of consumers and producers in the market and explain how markets operate to set prices and why governments may influence the market’s operation. They explain the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses when making economics and business decisions. Students explain why and how individuals and businesses set, prioritise and plan for financial and organisational goals. They describe the characteristics of successful businesses, the way these businesses use enterprising behaviours and capabilities, and explain how entrepreneurial individuals can contribute to this success. Students discuss how work contributes to societal wellbeing and describe the influences on the work environment. They identify trends and relationships and propose alternative responses to an economics and/or business issue or event. They evaluate the costs and benefits of each alternative response and identify the effects and potential consequences of these actions.

Levels 9 and 10

Levels 9 and 10 Description

In Levels 9 and 10, students consider how the Australian economy is performing and the importance of its interactions and relationships with the Asia region and the global economy in achieving growth and prosperity. This includes the significance of trading relationships in supporting prosperous outcomes for the economy and the business sector. Students explore the relationship between economic...

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Levels 9 and 10 Content Descriptions

Resource Allocation and Making Choices

  1. Investigate Australia as a trading nation and its place within Asia and the global economy (VCEBR020)
    Elaborations
    1. describing the characteristics of the Australian economy such as its participants and resource base
    2. identifying economic objectives of the Australian economy from the point of view of consumers, businesses, workers and governments and explain how these may be used as indicators of economic performance
  2. Identify and explain the indicators of economic performance and examine how Australia’s economy is performing (VCEBR021)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying and explaining indicators of economic performance such as economic growth rates, unemployment rates, inflation rates, sustainability indexes, business confidence, human development index, liveability, and the world happiness report
    2. investigating the performance of the Australian economy using key indicators to form a conclusion
  3. Explain the links between economic performance and living standards, including the variations that exist within and between economies, and give reasons for the possible causes of variations (VCEBR022)
    Elaborations
    1. comparing Australia’s resource base with another economy and exploring how this may influence trading relationships, for example, why does a particular economy manufacture electronic goods, while another focuses on mining?
    2. locating a range of products in the local shopping centre that were produced overseas, and proposing reasons why they were not produced in Australia
    3. mapping the global supply chain for a product to identify the participants in the chain
    4. defining ‘living standards’, discussing why it is considered the ultimate goal for economic activity and explaining its relationship to economic performance
    5. investigating economic performance and living standards and discussing how they can mean different things to different people and countries
    6. investigating the ways living standards can be measured, for example, gross domestic product (GDP), Human Development Index (HDI) or total quality of life index
    7. identifying policy options designed to improve living standards, such as education, training and workforce development, taxation, migration, government spending on health and infrastructure, environmental policies

Consumer and Financial Literacy

  1. Explain why and describe how people manage financial risks and rewards in the current Australian and global financial landscape (VCEBC023)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying financial risks such as scams and identity theft and considering strategies to avoid these
    2. explaining the role of banks and other deposit-taking institutions, such as credit unions or building societies, in collecting deposits, pooling savings and lending them to individuals and business
    3. debating the difference between good and bad debt, how to manage debt, the risks of over-indebtedness, and the importance of having a savings buffer
    4. identifying ways consumers can protect themselves from risks, for example, through insurances, savings and superannuation

The Business Environment

  1. Explore the nature of innovation and discuss how businesses seek to create and maintain a competitive advantage in the market, including the global market (VCEBB024)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying a variety of innovations in business and discussing how this has benefited the particular business
    2. exploring emerging techniques businesses can use to gain an advantage, such as blended marketing, open innovation, use of digital technologies and social media and the adoption of sustainable production practices
    3. identifying the reasons businesses seek to build or create a competitive advantage, for example, to stay in business, meet the changing demands of a competitive global market, achieve efficiencies, lower costs and improve their profit margins
    4. investigating the different strategies businesses use to create competitive advantage, for example, improving productivity, undertaking research and development, adopting innovative and efficient practices, advertising and marketing, offering a lower-cost product, innovative ways of managing the workforce, or by implementing efficient internal operations strategies
    5. discussing whether the adoption of strategies based around corporate social responsibility can increase the competitive advantage of businesses

Work and Work Futures

  1. Research the way the work environment is changing in contemporary Australia and analyse the implications for current and future work (VCEBW025)
    Elaborations
    1. researching current trends in the types of work available, the changes occurring, and the implications for future employment
    2. analysing how technology, globalisation and sustainability have affected the way we work
    3. investigating a range of occupations and the skills and dispositions required in different fields
  2. Examine the roles and responsibilities of participants in the changing Australian or global workplace (VCEBW026)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring emerging global needs and related opportunities in the workplace
    2. identifying the responsibilities of various participants in a particular workplace, for example, employers, employees, industrial organisations or state, territory and the Commonwealth government
    3. examining changes to the roles of employees in the workplace, for example, the increasing encouragement for workers to show initiative or act as intrapreneurs
    4. identifying employer responsibilities to workers and the government, for example, superannuation, paid parental leave, income tax, company tax or the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
    5. discussing the responsibilities of government in improving the conditions of workers, for example, occupational health and safety, and anti-discrimination laws

Enterprising Behaviours and Capabilities

  1. Identify the ways enterprising behaviours and capabilities can be developed to improve the work and business environments (VCEBN027)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying types of entrepreneurial behaviours and their importance for work, business and the economy
    2. identifying within a specific business context, enterprising behaviours and capabilities that may need to be improved, and developing a plan to assist with this improvement
    3. mindmapping the different ways particular behaviours and capabilities could be improved
    4. exploring which particular behaviours and capabilities a business needs to encourage, and proposing strategies for their business to do this

Economic and Business Reasoning and Interpretation

  1. Generate a range of viable options, taking into account multiple perspectives, use simple cost-benefit analysis to recommend and justify a course of action, and predict the intended and unintended consequences of economic and business decisions (VCEBE028)
    Elaborations
    1. examining the trade-offs businesses may need to consider, including social consequences, when determining methods to improve their productivity, for example, when employing more staff compared with up-skilling existing staff or replacing staff with technology or outsourcing work to overseas countries
    2. evaluating the costs and benefits of different alternatives
    3. using a range of criteria (social, economic, environmental) to select and justify a preferred option
    4. using a range of strategies to help decide on a potential major purchase, for example, a car, by investigating options, calculating the costs of different purchasing methods and estimating the long-term costs and benefits of owning the asset and repaying the debt
    5. discussing the outcomes of a decision, identifying those that were intended and unintended, and reflecting on strategies that may address the unintended consequences

Levels 9 and 10 Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 10, students describe how resources are allocated and distributed in the Australian economy and the way economic performance is measured. They provide explanations for variations in economic performance and standards of living within and between economies. Students explain the importance of managing consumer and business financial risks and rewards and analyse the different strategies that may be used when making decisions. They explain the nature of innovation and why businesses need to create a competitive advantage. Students discuss ways that this may be achieved and the enterprising behaviours and capabilities that could be developed by individuals to assist the work and business environments. Students analyse the reasons why and how the work environment is changing and discuss the implications this has for individuals, businesses and the economy. Students identify economics and business trends, explain relationships and make predictions. They generate alternative responses to familiar, unfamiliar and complex problems taking into account multiple perspectives, and using cost-benefit analysis and appropriate criteria to propose and justify a course of action. Students analyse the intended and unintended effects of economic and business decisions and the potential consequences of alternative actions.

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