In the unit of inquiry “How we organize ourselves”, students in grade 5/CM2, Elementary School of Ras Beirut, were encouraged to assess their roles as consumers and the unit’s aim was to raise awareness of marketing strategies while attempting to create the characteristics of more educated consumers. Eventually, students became well informed about the environmental and human price tags that accompany the production, manufacturing, and distribution of consumer goods. -An aspect that is often neglected by so many of us.
“Now That I Am an Educated Consumer” said one student, “I used to think that all my wants were needs and that I could buy everything. Now I know that there is a difference and whenever I make a choice there has to be an opportunity cost. I used to think that all advertising was true, but now I know that advertisers show only the good things in the product or the service that they are promoting. I used to believe that the brand on a product makes it special; however; now I am aware that it is not necessarily true and what I should be looking for is the quality and not the brand name. I used to think that economics was about organized communities and that there was just one economic system. Now I know that economics is all about the circulation of money and employment, and that there are different economic systems like capitalist, communist, and mixed economies. Also, I used to think that there was private ownership in all countries around the world, but now I know that in communist economies everything is owned by the government. I used to think that all countries were the same, but now I am aware of the fact that there are developed and developing nations and that developed nations have problems like unemployment and pollution. Finally, I used to think that there was no such thing as child labor in Africa, but now I know that there is in the making of chocolate and that many African children are treated like slaves on cocoa plantations. Now I know that chocolate production is not the same and this is why I decided that as an educated consumer I will be looking for chocolate products with the fair trade logo on them which guarantees that no children were involved in the process of making these chocolate products.”
Nadim Jawhari, VA