– June 13, 2017

The summer has started, so AIER is going on the road to provide a professional-development workshop for teachers in St. Louis, Miami, and Omaha. AIER’s Teach-the-Teachers Initiative program has received national acclaim as an innovative approach to infusing economics into the high school and middle school curricula of various disciplines.

The teachers who attend the multi-day workshop learn about the concepts of money and inflation, GDP, business cycles, and unemployment, as well as the role of government in the economy. In addition to providing basic training in economic content, we demonstrate winning pedagogical techniques to help teachers see the opportunities for student engagement.

The infusion-based approach to enriching the curriculum was pioneered by Joseph S. Renzulli from the University of Connecticut in the late 1970s. “An infusion-based approach simply means that teachers will review and select highly engaging enrichment-based activities related to particular topics; inject them into the curriculum to make topics more interesting; and provide support and encouragement for individuals and small groups who would like to extend their pursuit of the enrichment activities,” Renzulli wrote in his book “Reflections on Gifted Education.”

As I reflect on the quality of our program, I am happy to say that our workshops apply Renzulli’s three-step approach to enriching the curriculum while following the best practices in education, as advised by AIER’s founder, Col. E.C. Harwood. We select engaging activities (for example, those discussed in this blog), train teachers to incorporate those activities in their various subjects (here is a brief on the program with a summary of a few of the lessons), and follow up with the teachers who elect to implement their lesson idea in the classroom by providing encouragement, expertise, and support.

We are excited to start our national 2017 tour next week. After I come back, I will share with you what happens. Please stay tuned!


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Natalia Smirnova, PhD

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