Juneco – Ethical and Sustainable Economics for Elementary Schools

 

Enrica Amiotti Foundation

Supporting public school teachers and students since 1970

 

JUNECO is an initiative promoted by the Enrica Amiotti Foundation (www.fondazioneamiotti.org), in collaboration with Milan Cattolica University’s LIFE (Interdisciplinary Economic Training Workshop), the ISMU Foundation and the Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management at Bocconi University, with financial support from the PMI Educational Foundation.

JUNECO is a new educational program to introduce children – and to some extent their teachers and parents – to the fascinating and largely unknown world of the economy, taking a fun, concrete, hands-on educational approach with a strong ethical content. Thanks to JUNECO, by playing together, children can understand “what lies behind” our economic actions, and every product we use: from composition books to pizzas, from pens to smartphones, before moving on to invent and plan new “useful dreams” to be created together, new strategies with a positive social impact, to better harness our individual and collective resources.

 

  

 

 

 

THE JUNECO PROGRAM IN A NUTSHELL

 

In the classroom, the JUNECO program consists of two stages (preceded by one remote training session for each unit, via video tutorial, for the teachers):

a. Six educational play units on the main concepts of the economy, each lasting some 90’. We recommend administering between one and three units per week, thus completing this stage in a period of two to six weeks, if possible before the Christmas break:

 

Title Contents and educational objectives Associated games
1 The hidden prices jigsaw

The factors underlying the costs of goods and services

Understanding how goods and services are the result of complex processes, combining resources and intermediate goods. Emphasizing the central role of human labor (intellectual and manual). Rhymes “Focaccia” and “Composition book” crossword + 4 jigsaws to recognize the factors underlying a movie ticket, school cafeteria services, the school bus and a sports club
2 Pizza, love and economics

The value of specialization and exchange

Understanding how specializing has enabled human society to produce new goods and to increase prosperity. However, specialization requires the establishment of processes of exchange and institutions whose job is to facilitate these processes. Reading of the story “The Pizza Cook who Fell in Love”, which shows the inter-relations within an eco-system. A card exchange game, “Let’s make pizza” using a recipe with various “ingredients” (man-hours, flour, mozzarella, tomato, firewood).
3 The price of parsley

Estimating and reflecting on prices and use-value

Recognizing the price of goods and understanding that goods with the same use-value can have very different prices. Estimating prices and instilling in children a curious and informed attitude towards consumption. In-depth exploration of tangible and intangible resources. 38 cards representing goods of various kinds + objects worn by children or contained in their schoolbags: the children estimate the prices in groups, then compare their answers.
4 The economic goose game
The story of money
Showing the historic evolution of exchanges, from barter to the use of money in its various forms (coins, notes, virtual money). 4 rhymes + “Goose game” with board and role play, managed by the teacher (roles: banker, service station keeper, hotelier).
5 The push and pull of money

Discovering loans and interest

A simple “business game” illustrates the impact of decisions on the dimensions of production / investments / loans with interest. Boards with packs of cards for groups of 4 pupils; 4 sheets for use as a register of loans; 3 packs of cards (past, present and decisions).
6 Re-use it!

Lots of Rs to consume less and better

Helping pupils to understand the rationale of ethical, sustainable and circular economics, limiting waste and preferring well-informed consumption, use and re-use. The tale of the Princess and the Maid. A set of cards representing different objects, their price and a “home-made” substitute.

 

 

The games in each unit (based essentially on cards and board games, to be used generally in groups of 4-5 pupils), are each stored in numbered boxes. The six boxes for the games/sessions, together with this “Teachers’ Guide” are all packaged together in a single case called “JUNECO: – educational play sessions”.

b. From dream to project” – application of the project management approach for children, to be put into practice between January and May. The activities will take up between two and four hours per week, according to the duration of the activities themselves and to how complex and ambitious the dream-project is; with project progress checks every one to two weeks.

 

 

Mariù Moresco, elementary school teacher, who co-invented the project management method together with her husband Walter Ginevri.

 

The seven steps of the methodology – available free on https://pmief.org/library/resources/projects-from-the-future-kit-for-primary-school – are:

  1. Dream-project ID card: stating the name, goals and deadline for the project, and the main “rules of play” for the children;
  2. Brainstorming: the children’s ideas are collected in a creative and initially disorganized way; each idea is written on a post-it note, and stuck onto a chart on the classroom wall;
  3. Mind map: the post-its from the brainstorming session (except for any that were rejected) are grouped together on the branches “What”, “Who”, “How”, “When”, “What if….”;
  4. Activity tree: branches of activities are built to correspond with the activities / tasks to be performed (often indicating one or more people responsible for each one), on a new chart;
  5. Project calendar: (Time chart): the activities are scheduled (weekly or every two weeks) and the logical links between the different activities are shown (where they exist), again on a new chart;
  6. Project traffic lights: by sliding green, orange and red cards into CD sleeves, for example, a clear visual indication is given of which activities are proceeding well/are finished, which require attention or are delayed, and which are have critical issues;
  7. Lessons learned: at the end of the project, the children write the main “lessons learned” on a new chart: what new things did we learn, what worked well, what could we have done better, what would we like to do again, etc…

 

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