Ideas Futures as a teaching aid

David McFadzean (
Tue, 03 Jun 1997 17:58:36 -0600


>X-POP3-Rcpt: david@maxwell
>Date: Tue, 03 Jun 1997 16:12:48 -0700
>From: "Karl B. Gittelman" <>
>Organization: Amrand Inc.
>Subject: Ideas Futures as a teaching aid
>I teach a high school economics class in a small independent school in
>Southern California and I thought that you might be interested in how I
>used the Ideas Future market in my economics class this spring. I had my
>class compete in teams of four against each other for three months (they
>already compete in a stock market game and a computer business game).
>One player from each team registered and each team was required to make
>a minimum amount of investments over the course of the game. The amount
>required increased as the weeks went by. At the end each team had more
>than $650. At first they seemed reluctant or intimidated by the game but
>eventually all four teams were relatively active. On the day that I
>designated for finishing the game, the winning team beat the second
>place team by only 1 cent. It was incredibly close although they
>invested in totally different things. Every one of the four teams
>finished with a profit and a "score" of more than 1.000.
>I thought that it was a very valuable learning tool. The kids learned
>something about trading in a futures market. They also explored many
>ideas about their own future. The were forced to consider and think
>about how different their future will be. They now have the option of
>continuing to trade in the game as they go off to college. I am sure
>that some of them will do so.
>For several years I have taught the fundamentals of both the futures
>market and the options market and have spent some time attempting to
>make these kids become "futurists" with mixed success. Your game did a
>better job of accomplishing these tasks than I ever could. It is a
>wonderful teaching tool. Our game was written up in our school
>newsletter and created a lot of interest with parents and teachers