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Lakeland College has received $50,000 from the Bradley Foundation as part of the college's ongoing efforts to improve the economic understanding of Wisconsin teachers and students
Lakeland will use the grant to fund a series of one-day workshops for up to 100 Wisconsin high school teachers of American history.
The workshops will introduce teachers to the economic way of thinking, which stresses choices, costs, incentives, rules of the economic system and gains from trade. It will include supply and demand analysis and the basic institutions of a market economy including private property rights, profit motive, consumer sovereignty, competition and freedom of contract.
The seminars will feature interactive presentations and simulations, video clips and other active learning experiences.
All participating teachers will receive copies of "Economic Episodes in American History" for their classrooms.
"This initiative helps us make progress toward providing teachers with the content knowledge and instructional tools they will need to improve the economic understanding of their students," said Scott Niederjohn, Lakeland's Charlotte and Walter Kohler Associate Professor of Economics and director of the college's Center for Economic Education.
"While few people seriously question the importance of understanding the basics of economics, it remains scarce in the K-12 schools. When included at all, a course in economics is delayed until the last possible moment—usually in grade 11 or 12. American history is required in nearly every high school, so integrating these concepts into that curriculum is an easy way for schools to make sure these important concepts are being taught."
Since 2012, annual gifts from the Bradley Foundation have enabled the Lakeland College Center for Economic Education to establish a foundation for a strong economic history teacher training and curriculum implementation program.
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