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Journal number 1 ∘ Lela TavdgiridzeGiorgi KatamadzeMaya Bolkvadze
Economic Awareness and Early Childhood Education


The need to give basic economic information and teach economic concepts to children at an early age is the theoretical and practical basis of many international studies reflected in the works of many researchers;
The paper examines regional and global studies on economic education and economic awareness in early education, particularly among preschool children; focuses on theoretical and legal approaches to the age classification of early childhood children based on national and international legislation; identifies the optimal age for the formation, development, and strengthening of economic awareness among preschoolers, and suggests the ways and appropriate educational materials to achieve this goal.
The research is based on a complex, interdisciplinary methodology and includes document examination, comparison, classification and systematization, content analysis and data synthesis. In accordance with the objectives of the study we have reviewed works in the fields of economics and economic consciousness, pedagogy, psychology, early childhood education and education in general.
Our research hypothesis is that economic education and building of economic awareness at an early age are essential for raising and shaping a successful citizen.
The following conclusions were drawn from the research:
• promoting the growth and enhancement of economic awareness and teaching basic economic concepts through simple language at an early age (4-6 years according to our classification) is the basis for creating a future successful citizen equipped with the essential life skills;
• financial education is often equated with economic education, that we believe is not correct, since it is a narrower field based on specific financial concepts (e.g. money, loans, savings, etc.), while economic awareness and education encompass the fundamental concepts of relationships related to practical issues in the routine life.
• the national and international scientific-legal basis of the child's age and development stages are in harmony with each other and completely correspond to the commonly accepted norms;
• the review of scientific literature revealed that while diverse criteria are used to classify the stages of child development, the basic divisions include the child's physical, cognitive, speech/language, and social/emotional development.
• Although scientific works from both Georgia and abroad extensively analyze the age division of young children according to their growth and capacities, no particular age group has been directly linked to the learning/teaching of economic concepts and economic awareness;
• based on the works of Georgian and international scientists that have studied, we believe that the best age for children to promote fundamental economic education and develop economic awareness at an early age is between 4 and 6 years (inclusive), which is pre-school or early education age.
• early development and reinforcement of economic awareness enhances students' readiness for a greater comprehension of social science fundamentals in general at later stages of education.
• considering the vast number of studies on the value of early childhood education, we think it’s important to study this issue in Georgia more thoroughly and broadly, as well as to cooperate with other researchers/experts in this field for creation of a methodological framework for the development of economic awareness in young children.
• and finally, we believe that children’s literature, particularly fairy tales, stories, and rhymes on socio-economic topics can indeed illustrate basic economic concepts and teaching them to children using the right approach directly ensures the achievement of the goal.

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Key words: Economic awareness, education, early education, teaching, preschool children.
JEL Codes: A20, A21, I20, I21