– September 20, 2017
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One of the unique features of AIER’s Teach-the-Teachers program is the opportunity for teachers to field test the lesson idea, developed at the workshop, in their classroom. Using our Economics-Across-the-Curriculum approach, we are able to recruit teachers from various disciplines, not only economics. I described the diversity of 2017 class in an earlier blog. The Fall semester is the time for a field test, so we are excited to learn how many teachers are planning to implement their lesson idea. 

This Fall, 27 out of 51 participants in three workshops (St. Louis, Miami, and Omaha) will be presenting their lessons in the classroom. This constitutes a field-test rate of 53 percent! I am excited about this rate because it is higher than last year’s 37 percent when we brought the program to the national stage for the first time. The increased number of teachers who are confident enough to bring demonstrations of economic concepts to students shows that our material is easy to understand, interesting and engaging, and relatable to the young audience of 21st century learners.

As we collected information about teachers’ intent, I was pleased with the diversity of subjects where the economic concepts of inflation, GDP, and unemployment will be introduced. The subjects are AP Statistics, U.S. History, microbiology, computer applications, macroeconomics and money and banking, to name just a few. Students in grades 8-12 as well as in community colleges will benefit from the lessons.

I am proud to report that AIER’s workshop satisfies all of the criteria of exemplary professional development workshops set up in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which was signed into law in 2015. The six criteria, which I described in my previous blogs, are sustained, intensive, collaborative, job-embedded, data-driven, and classroom-focused. After attending AIER’s workshop, teachers are prepared to deliver economic content to students for years to come.

We have evidence that students enjoy the lessons presented by AIER-trained teachers and they learn a great deal. As this new cycle of lesson implementations starts, I am excited to get results of students’ knowledge acquisition and add them to the research project measuring the impact of teachers’ professional development workshops. I described the results of the three previous years of the program in my working paper.

My goal is to continue the data collection on student learning from the classrooms where our participants teach. We will then offer evidence of success of a professional development workshop like ours through time and bring AIER to the forefront of the global economic education movement.

 

Picture: participants of the Teach-the-Teachers workshop in Miami, FL, June 28 – 30, 2017.

 

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Natalia Smirnova, PhD

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