Teaching Economics with Taylor Swift

Economics, as often taught in schools, is all about the number of widgets and supply and demand curves, and these abstract concepts can be uninteresting to many students. But showing students how the interplay between the NFL and Taylor Swift is an example of the theory of the firmand looking at Swift’s career and success as a means of understanding gender economic discrimination, can make these concepts more meaningful to students. 

An economics professor and scientist at University of Kansas created Swiftynomics 101, a free online course that examines Taylor Swift’s success and her relationship with Super Bowl champion NFL star Travis Kelce, through an economics lens.

The course is geared toward students in high school and up, and is presented in a way that is relatable and accessible, even for students who haven’t studied economics. The goal is to reach nontraditional economics students and get them excited about the subject. While the course is an obvious fit for economics teaching, it can also be used in civics, social studies, or business classes. 

Teachers can use the curriculum as a whole, or they can select specific videos or lessons that best suit their students. The course is flexible; it can last one class period or an entire week. The curriculum includes PowerPoint slide decks and a 60-minute webinar video for teachers, short videos for presentation and discussion in class, optional listening and reading materials, and worksheets and essay questions. 

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