Consumer Education

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Consumer education is the process of gaining the knowledge and skills needed in managing consumer resources and taking actions to influence the factors which affect consumer decisions. Consumer education has been described as addressing four general areas. These are: 1.Consumer Decision making. Covers critical thinking skills related to consumers' goals, needs, wants, and the effects of attitudes, advertising, information and opportunity costs on consumer behavior. 2.Economics. Examines the allocation of scarce resources among competing wants. Explores the principles of supply and demand and how prices are determined. Other topics include growth and productivity, global interdependence and the interrelated roles of consumers, producers, and government in an economic system. 3.Personal Finance. Includes budgeting, record keeping, income and net worth statements, credit, saving and investing, retirement and estate planning, insurance, and taxes. 4.Rights and Responsibilities. Includes responsible citizenship concerning consumer protection laws and regulations, and redress mechanisms. Also addresses topics such as the environment, safety, health care and affordable goods and services. [2] Consumer education is multi disciplinary by design. As a result, consumer concepts may be found throughout the school curriculum. Subjects that may include consumer concepts are economics, civics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, language arts, business education and home economics. Consumer education offers more than knowledge and skills; it promotes critical thinking, problem solving and action. This range of elements is reflected in the basic consumer education objectives developed by Grada HelIman Tuitert for the International Organization of Consumer Unions (IOCU). The objectives include helping students: 1.Gain knowledge to act as informed consumers. For example, knowledge of consumer rights and basic nutrition. 2.Develop an understanding of society's function as...
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