Fed Program Helps Teachers Promote Economics Knowledge, Careers
For immediate release: September 26, 2022
The Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Philadelphia, and St. Louis have created a program to train educators how to teach economics, with a focus on teaching children of color in low- and moderate-income school districts.
Over three years, the Federal Reserve Education Fellows (FREF) program will train middle and high school teachers in five school districts how to make economics relevant and interesting for students of color.
"We believe in the power of classroom teachers. Research shows that when classroom teachers are trained to use effective teaching strategies and resources, student outcomes improve," said Raphael Bostic, president and CEO of the Atlanta Fed. "The FREF program is helping educators expose a diverse set of students to economic principles and decision-making skills that will strengthen their ability to make good economic and financial decisions throughout their lifetime."
Besides equipping students to be knowledgeable participants in the economy, the FREF program aims to give educators tools that will encourage students to consider a career in economics. Research in the Journal of Economic Education shows that 31.3 percent of economics graduate students were women and 11.8 percent were Black, Hispanic, or Native American.
"If we want more women and students of color in graduate economics programs, we must first increase the number of them interested in studying and pursuing careers in economics," said Mary Suiter, assistant vice president and economic education leader at the St. Louis Fed. "It's difficult for students to see themselves in a career if they've not seen someone like them doing that work."
The first class of teachers comprises 18 fifth-grade, middle school, and high school teachers from:
- Ferguson-Florissant School District (suburban St. Louis)
- Jennings School District (suburban St. Louis)
- Atlanta Public Schools
- Bibb County School District (Macon, Georgia)
- Colonial School District (Delaware)
In June, participants attended a weeklong program at the St. Louis Fed, where economic education teams from the Atlanta, Philadelphia, and St. Louis Federal Reserve Banks provided economic content and demonstrated effective instruction methods. Economic instructors from the University of Delaware, the Georgia Council on Economic Education, Illinois State University, and Starr's Mill High School assisted with the training.
During the 2022–23 school year, fellows will teach appropriate grade-level curriculum to their students and develop best practices. In 2024, participants who successfully complete the program may qualify to become teacher consultants for the next cohort of fellows.