Early College Experience Program

Early College Experience Economics Workshop

Every year, the Economics Department hosts the professional development workshop for high school teachers of economics who are part of the UConn Early College Experience (ECE) Program. This program provides opportunities for high school students to take a UCONN course for credit at their high school. The teachers who offer such a course attend the annual workshop and are certified by the Department. Dr. Smirnova is a new coordinator for the ECE Economics program.

On Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 29 teachers from all over the State of Connecticut attended a virtual professional development workshop organized by Dr. Smirnova, the Department of Economics, and the Office of Early College Programs. The agenda was packed with useful and up-to-date information that could be used in the classroom right away.

Dr. Diego Mendez-Carbajo, Senior Economic Education Specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis presented a talk “Remote Active Learning with FRED Interactives”, which demonstrated new approaches of using the FRED database for teaching various topics.

Dr. Scott A. Wolla, Economic Education Coordinator at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis talked about “Teaching New Tools of Monetary Policy”, which presented the up-to-date information about monetary policy tools that have changed substantially in the past couple of years and especially since August 20202. Dr. Wolla showed various resources that could be used in teaching and studying Macroeconomics and Money and Banking.

Dr. Carlos J. Asarta, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware presented his new research “Teaching Digitally-Minded Students during the Pandemic and Beyond”. The data collected by Dr. Asarta indicates that the profession has not yet successfully pivoted to using engaging strategies in teaching and, therefore, there are challenges in recruiting and retaining economics majors. Dr. Asarta suggested several ways of making economics more interesting, more applied, and more fun for contemporary students.

The feedback from teachers was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone learned a lot and took away many resources to be used in the classroom.

By Natalia V. Smirnova

Early College Experience Program Workshop

The Economics Department Early College Experience Program held its annual workshop for teachers on November 1 at the Storrs Campus. The workshop was attended by 25 teachers from high schools across the state who hold the positions of instructor and preceptor of economics responsible for teaching high school students Principles of Microeconomics (Economics 1201), Principles of Macroeconomics (Economics 1202) and Essentials of Economics (Economics 1000) in their high school.

 

The teachers who attended, learned from a program they inspired by suggesting topics in the spring of 2018.  Highlights of this year’s program included Professor Nishith Prakash presenting his work entitled “Gender, Crime and Punishment”, which provided a peek at original economics research.  The teachers were excited by this work and raised numerous questions.

 

Professor Prakash’s paper was followed by a presentation by Professor Natalia Smirnova (a UConn Economics Ph.D.) entitled “Oligarchs and Ivans:  A Changing Russian Economy 1990-2020” in which Professor Smirnova provided both background and predictions for the modern Russian Economy including a look forward. 

 

Professor Oskar R. Harmon, who is doing research and teaching about sports economics, presented an exciting session entitled “Sports Economics and Principals of Economics” over lunch.  Professor Harmon was followed on the program by Mr. Paul Conant explaining the Kyoto Treaty to the teachers in a session titled “Kyoto and Beyond.”

 

ECE Economics Coordinator and Emeritus Professor of Economics Bill Alpert capped off the day with his discussion “Income Distribution: What’s the Matter?”   

After continuing discussion the workshop was adjourned.