What is Consumer Classroom
Consumer Classroom is a website for teachers across Europe which aims to promote consumer education in secondary schools by providing resources and tools.
We encourage teachers to deliver lessons in Consumer topics by offering an extensive library of high quality teaching resources.
These resources have been specially selected to support your teaching curriculum with a wide range of core subjects and themes. The resources are very flexible and can be used online in the classroom, downloaded, printed or shared through the web.
We also offer teachers a range of materials and tools to prepare lessons using the resources. These include:
Combine existing resources with text, images, links and othe media. You can then share the completed lesson with your students and colleagues.
Create a list of your students and share lessons, resources and messages with them in one click.
Complete a project with another European school using our tools.
View groups of resources which have been curated by other users, experts and partners of Consumer Classroom.
Consumer Classroom regularly produces lessons on seasonal topics that are ready for you to deliver in the classroom.
Upload a Resource
Upload your own resources to share with other teachers.
Through our forum and members network we are building a strong online community of teachers and experts who support each other in delivering consumer education. When you become a member, you can create your profile, view the profiles of other members, message other teachers and contribute on the forum.
Who is it for?
Consumer Classroom is aimed at secondary school teachers of students aged 12-18 but is open to anyone who is willing to contribute. You don’t require any previous knowledge of consumer education to use the resources or deliver lessons in consumer topics. Consumer education crosses many subjects and can be incorporated into different curricula.
Teachers are not the only ones interested in Consumer Classroom. The website can also be useful for consumer organisations, National teachers’ associations, secondary school teachers, the Education Ministries of all Member States as well as parents.
We also have a team of consumer experts and partners who contribute to the content. We are always looking for new experts so if you have strong consumer knowledge, please apply to become one of our experts.
Why Sign Up?
Sign up to gain access to many features such as:
Create lessons online
Create your own lesson plans on consumer topics ar any time with our simple interactive lesson builder!
Share lessons and assignments quickly and easily with your students as a group or create multiple classrooms for different classes that you teach.
Share Ideas, Lessons & Issues
Consumer Classroom allows you to Connect to a Large Community of Teachers and Consumer Education Experts throughout Europe.
It's free and it's quick to create an account.
What is Consumer Education?
Consumer Education is concerned with teaching people the skills, attitudes and knowledge required for living in a consumer society. It is a fundamental component of general education, which should support consumers in their attempts to organise their everyday lives in a sustainable way.
Many people are not only unconscious of their own consumer behaviour, but do not understand how and to what extent they can influence the economy, the environment and the society through their individual consumer behaviour.
Consumer Classroom is about helping teachers to educate young people for the life ahead of them. It is about preparing them with the skills they need to consume in a conscious way and understand their role as actors in the economic system - creating a better society for all of us.
To read more about the official legal definitions and plans of the European Commission on consumer education, please click here.
Why Teach Consumer Education?
We live in a consumer society. Consumption is an important part of our everyday life and uses up a significant proportion of our money and of our time.
Yet, for some, the term Consumer Education has a negative overtone - encouraging people to consume more. To the contrary, Consumer Education is about promoting an understanding of the structures and systems within the market. Evidence suggests that many adults are not only unaware of how their individual consumer habits can affect the economy, the environment and society, but that many are also inadequately equipped to participate effectively in the market place. Consumer Education provides the insight necessary to develop citizens into responsible and intelligent acting consumers.
Educated consumers make better choices and because of their higher expectations, there is a positive effect on competitiveness as companies improve their products and services (Fair Trading, Issue 19, 1998, p.25).
Investing in our Future
Teaching consumer education is investing in our future: it means protecting, giving confidence and enhancing the accountability of tomorrow’s consumers. The numerous consumer education themes can be tackled in almost all traditional teaching subjects and curricula. Consequently, teachers are definitely the most suitable to provide consumer education and to help educate the consumers of tomorrow.
In an increasingly globalised world, awareness regarding your rights as a consumer is crucial to ensure protection, confidence and social responsibility while consuming. Given the fast development of the Internet, social media and online networks, teenagers are the most likely to suffer this lack of awareness.
Consumer Classroom provides a means for teachers to learn about consumer education themselves and to pass this invaluable information onto their students through cross curricular projects. This website will help teachers to give their students everyday examples of how to be a better consumer through interactive and engaging lessons.
Ready to start learning about and teaching consumer education? Click here to sign up.
Consumer Education and the European Commission
Consumer education has been defined in many ways by different organisations, from UNESCO, OECD and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to Member States.
Among them, the European Union has made consumer education part of the general objectives of consumer protection (Article 153, Treaty of Amsterdam, 1997). Consumer education is therefore a recognised right of European consumers and an objective to be achieved jointly by the European Community and the Member States.
The European Commission has also defined digital competence as one of the key aspects of lifelong learning. With the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, apart from Article 12 on consumer protection, the article 169 of the treaty stipulates that “the Union shall contribute to protecting health, safety and economic interests of consumers; to promoting consumers right to information, education and the right to organise consumers in order to safeguard their interest.”
The Consumer Agenda published in spring 2012 announced that the European Commission would develop an “interactive platform for exchanging best practices and distributing consumer education materials amongst teachers and other professionals working with 12-18 year olds, including materials on digital literacy, new media technologies and sustainable consumption.”