||Atlanta Fed Helps Teachers by Providing Curriculum
Classroom teachers are one of the most important audiences of the Atlanta Fed's efforts to promote economic and financial education. Through teachers, these efforts can reach the greatest number of young people, who need to acquire the personal financial experience and economic knowledge to make them financially savvy consumers and workers who can contribute to the general economic welfare.
Faced with budgetary constraints, some school systems may be hard-pressed to provide up-to-date curriculum materials on economics and finance. In some instances, these topics are not taught as separate courses but are included in social studies or math classes. So teachers are often on the lookout for sources of reliable—and free—economic and personal finance curriculum materials. The Atlanta Fed is trying to help fill this void.
Online newsletter provides timely material for teachers
In 2005 the Atlanta Fed launched Extra Credit, a twice-yearly online newsletter aimed at middle school and high school classroom teachers. Articles explore economic and personal finance topics, such as the effects of global trade on the U.S. economy, recent trends in the types of retail payments consumers use (debit and credit cards, checks, etc.), and the importance of opening a bank account. Articles typically include related classroom activities or lesson plans, often indexed to national or state standards.
Each issue of Extra Credit also includes ideas from classroom teachers for activities they've found successful, new FAQs on economic and financial topics, and an updated calendar of teacher workshops or other events offered by the Atlanta Fed or its education partners.
Developing lessons from real life
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Atlanta Fed created Katrina's Classroom: Financial Lessons from a Hurricane, a free four-part DVD-based video curriculum designed to teach middle school and high school students and their parents the importance of being financially prepared. The video presents the stories of three teenagers and their families who were affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The lessons focus on financial responsibilities such as budgeting, banking, savings, and the wise use of credit. The video, an English/Spanish transcript, and lesson plans aligned with national content standards can be downloaded or ordered from the Atlanta Fed Web site as a DVD/CD set.
A wealth of curriculum available from the Federal Reserve
Collectively, the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks offer a broad spectrum of free economic and personal finance curriculum resources—from lesson plans to videos and games to books and newsletters—at FederalReserveEducation.org. The Web site includes a search function that allows teachers to look for materials by education level, type (such as video, book, or Web site), and national teaching standards (National Council on Economic Education and Jump$tart).
April 26, 2008