Center recognized for economic education

November 7 2008

Indiana State University's Center for Economic Education received the Peter V. Harrington Award for Excellence in the Number of K-12 Teachers Trained on Friday (Nov. 7).

John Conant, center director and ISU economics department chair, accepted the award during the Indiana Council for Economic Education awards program at the Indiana State House. In giving the award, council officials noted ISU's center trained 262 teachers in 13 large workshops and that Conant reached out in significant and creative ways to bring teachers to those workshops.

"Economics saturates our everyday lives, not just adults but kids' lives as well," Conant said. "Everyone needs to understand the economy within which we live and work. Economic knowledge is essential for good work decisions, good consumer practices and certainly for informed citizenship."

During the summer of 2008, Conant was part of team that took secondary teachers to America's first national park for "Natural Resource Economics and Public Choice: Conflicts Over Land Use in Yellowstone National Park." Conant points to such a class, which will be offered again next year, as well taking a group of teachers to China to learn first hand about globalization and China's economic transformation, as creative and significant examples of teaching teachers, who in turn pass that knowledge along to their students.

"These kinds of hands-on learning experiences are far more effective in both teaching the economic concepts and in illustrating the importance of economic knowledge in everyday life," Conant said.

In addition to summer credit workshops for elementary teachers on basic economic concepts and the kindergarten through fifth grade Indiana Academic Standards, the center held one-day and after-school workshops on "Teaching Economics Through Children's Literature," "Play-Dough Economics" and "The Mini-Economy."

The ISU center received a plaque and a $1,500 check to use for the advancement of economic education in its region. This award is sponsored financially by Duke Realty Corporation.

"I appreciate the willingness of area teachers to give up some of their free time to enhance their teaching skills and to learn about some of the new interactive curriculum that has become available to help teachers be more effective," Conant said. "I'm also appreciative of the support that I get from both the Indiana Council for Economic Education and its network of centers around the state, and from the administration at Indiana State University. I obviously couldn't do this work without the support of my colleagues or the professionalism of area school teachers."

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Contact: John Conant, Indiana State University, economics chair, at 812-237-2160 or jconant@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or jsicking@indstate.edu

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Indiana State University's Center for Economic Education received the Peter V. Harrington Award for Excellence in the Number of K-12 Teachers Trained on Friday (Nov. 7).

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