– September 25, 2017
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AIER is going to the Council for Economic Education’s annual conference in New York to share with the national audience of teachers, curriculum developers, administrators, and researchers our approach of infusing economics into various fields of study. This time, we are scheduled to present the example of teaching the unemployment-rate calculation in AP statistics, algebra, history, and other classes. As we develop and grow our program, we identify teachers who could be our ambassadors and be mentors to peers in their schools and school districts. They are the ones who would make sure the ideas for infusing economics across disciplines get out to the K-12 community. We call these teachers our master teachers.

One of our master teachers is Vicki L. Fuhrhop, who works in Collinsville School District in Illinois. She participated in Teach-the-Teachers Initiative Chicago in 2016 and presented her experience in implementing her lesson plan at TTI St. Louis 2017. Now Vicki is coming to New York with us to help us galvanize the audience and promote next summer’s program cycle.

The learning goals of Vicki’s lesson included having students study the types of unemployment and the unique challenges associated with each type, learn about the consequences of unemployment, and learn the relationship between education and unemployment. The lesson was presented to her consumer-education class.

The main element incorporated into the lesson was the pedagogy Vicki learned in AIER’s Economics Across the Curriculum workshop. As Vicki wrote, it involved

focusing on the learning styles of the 21st century learner by incorporating a variety of teaching methods. For example, the lesson included pre/post assessment, a video, podcast, interactive learning modules, and using the internet to find and explore unemployment data. My focus was on presenting the information in a meaningful way that the students could relate to and find interesting. Most importantly, I strived to help them comprehend why they should have a general understanding of this basic economic concept of unemployment and how it relates to their lives beyond the classroom.

I am excited that teachers who go through our program implement their ideas in the classroom and become the envoys of the economics-across-the-curriculum approach and promoters of AIER’s program. I described several other lessons incorporating the unemployment rate into various subjects in my paper published by The Councilor.

Our session at the CEE annual conference is scheduled for Saturday, October 7. Come to our presentation, learn about the challenges and rewards of innovative approaches to teaching, and plan to join the Teach-the-Teachers program next summer at one of our planned locations: Phoenix, Ariz., Boston, Mass., and Lancaster, Penn.

 

Picture: AIER’s Teach-the-Teachers workshop participants collaborate on developing lesson ideas.

 

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Natalia Smirnova, PhD

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