Some commentators trace the origins of commerce to the very start of communication in prehistoric times. Apart from traditional self-sufficiency, trading became a principal facility of prehistoric people, who bartered what they had for goods and services from each other. Historian Peter Watson dates the history of long-distance commerce from circa 150,000 years ago.
In historic times, the introduction of currency as a standardized money facilitated a wider exchange of goods and services. Numismatists have collections of these monies, which include coins from some Ancient World large-scale societies, although initial usage involved unmarked lumps of precious metal. The circulation of a standardized currency provides the major disadvantage to commerce of overcoming the “double coincidence of wants” necessary for barter trades to occur. For example, if a man who makes pots for a living needs a new house, he may wish to hire someone to build it for him. But he cannot make an equivalent number of pots to equal this service done for him, because even if the builder could build the house, the builder might not want the pots. Currency solved this problem by allowing a society as a whole to assign values and thus to collect goods and services effectively and to store them for later use, or to split them among several providers.
Indian society during the Vedic period was divided into four basic castes viz. the Brahmins, the Kshatriya, the Vaishyas and the Shudras. In such a set up, commerce was entirely the monopoly of the Vaishyas. The younger generation of Vaishyas was educated about business by their elders. With the passage of time Vaishyas accepted other professions and so did people of other castes, who entered into the commercial domain. This entry of people with different backgrounds into the area of business without relevant knowledge and experience, led to the need of imparting formal education of commerce and business. Formal commerce education was first introduced in India in 1886 at Madras by the Trustees of Pachaiappa’s Charities in the form of a commercial school.
Today commerce includes a complex system of companies that try to maximize their profits by offering products and services to the market (which consists both of individuals and other companies) at the lowest production-cost. There exists a system of International trade, which some argue has gone too far. But in the recent times commerce has taken shape to help in the development of the world economy.
Commerce has immense importance in all times especially today. It helps in even distribution of goods in all parts of the world. Countries that lack a proper commerce system often get difficulties in maintaining a right standard of living for their nationals. Commerce also serves as a tool to bring people closer from different countries. The transaction of money and commodities serves as a principal means of living for most of the people.
Commerce as a Career
Commerce is one of the three fundamental academic streams, the other two being humanities and science. While pursuing a course in the field of commerce, one acquires the knowledge of business or trade, nature and fluctuations in market, basics of economics, fiscal policies, industrial policies etc. The concept of commerce consists of a wide range of interdisciplinary branches including Accountancy, Business Administration, E-Commerce, Finance, Economics and Marketing. Since the Indian economy is one of the fastest growing economies among the third world countries, the need for talented professionals, who can contribute towards the growth of the economy, is increasing. To serve the purpose, many commerce colleges in India are imparting quality education. A commerce aspirant can pursue course related to the field at any of the colleges and work in organizations that deal with finance and commerce.
Effective teaching can be possible only when the teacher is able to promote interest among the students. For promoting the interest among the students a teacher can do various things such as demonstrate interest in the subject and in teaching, introducing the topics in new and interesting ways, point out practical applications and interesting examples, relating the subject matter to current events and students interest or activities, presenting challenging and thought provoking ideas, examining controversial issues, encouraging new ideas from the students and by the use of varied activities, media, and methods. It also helps in providing practical exposure to the students.
The quality of instruction also depends upon the knowledge of teachers. There is a strong positive relationship between teachers’ knowledge of subjects and levels of subject knowledge achieved by their students. Teachers with ample knowledge of subjects are able to plan effectively for the introduction and organization of basic concepts. Knowledgeable teachers are also able to distinguish simple from complex concepts and to vary instructional procedures accordingly. So for teaching any subject effectively, there should be a trained and qualified teacher. Its is more necessary for commerce teaching because the subject is offered at the higher secondary level where the students are more matured, so there has to be a teacher who is masters in commerce at the same time having a degree of education.
Commerce is a subject which is very close to us, so for effective teaching of commerce it is all about listening, questioning, being responsive, and remembering that each student and class is different. For this teacher should adopt Socratic instruction approach. It’s all about eliciting responses and developing the oral communication skills of the quiet students. It’s all about pushing students to excel which is basic requirement of commerce teaching.
For teaching effectively, teacher has to select appropriate instructional method. But we have to keep in mind that no one instructional method is the best for all subject/content. Learning can be enhanced by adopting different approach and method according to the need of the content. Commerce is such a subject where a teacher can use all the methods effectively such as lecture, discussion, role playing, seminar, supervised as well as independent study, project method, field trip, etc. but one of the major concern is that teacher should use these methods in actual class room teaching. Commerce subject is of vocational based so the activity method is quite suitable for commerce. In the wards of Rousseau, “Instead of making the child stick to is books keep him busy in workshop where his hands will work to the profit of his mind.” Thus learning by doing, by activity and experience is the first and the most natured form of learning. One of the arguments against using these methods is that they consume more time but if we use different methods according to the needs of the content then it will help in achieving HOTS at the same time they are not at all time consuming. For example if you field trip as a method for teaching banking it will consume at the most two-three hours to take students to the nearby bank and observe the functions of the employees of the bank and then the teacher can just discuss about the observations of the students in the class room and with this the chapter will be over. This will also help in retention of knowledge for longer period. This is also one of the ways to facilitate learning i.e. relating the curriculum to the student’s lifestyles.