How to Help Students Make Informed Decisions

This was passed on to me by Gabe Sukenik from Andrew Joliet, a YAL member at the University of Rochester:

As a Financial Economics major, YAL member, and someone who is very passionate about free market ideas, I have talked to a lot of people and gotten in many debates related to these topics. It always shocks me how little people know or understand about basic economic ideas. A good understanding of ideas as simple as supply and demand seem to be completely foreign to most people. Why is this?

My conclusion is that the lack of education on economics before high school or even during high school is the main contributor to economic ignorance. Kids have basically no exposure to the very important economic ideas that we lovers of liberty and freedom have come to appreciate. Additionally, once people reach a certain age they are not as receptive to free market ideas and general economic principles. My response to these conclusions is to go into local middle schools and teach basic economics.

I have started contacting all of the local private middle schools in my area. I have asked these schools if they would let me come in and give a 30 to 45 minute lectures on basic economics. These 30 to 45 minute interactive lectures address issues such as supply and demand, free trade, entrepreneurship, and other basic economic ideas. As of now six schools have responded, I have lectured at two, and those two want to set this up as a continuing program. I call this program Economic Literacy for Students or ELFS.

I would love for this program to spread to other parts of the country. I have lesson plans, creative ideas, and proven strategies for getting students interested and participating in these lectures. I think this could have a huge impact on future generations understanding of economics. We as people concerned about the future of our country need to implement strategies that will have a substantive effect on the intellectual understanding of economics. Maybe if Barney Frank had an ELFS lesson in eighth grade, he would not have been in favor of giving loans to people who could never afford to pay them back. If interested in implementing ELFS in your area or donating feel free to contact me at ajoliet@u.rochester.edu.”

Included below is his lesson plan; if it looks all jumbled, I apologize as I had to convert it to upload. I applaud Andrew for attempting to solve a problem he sees, getting involved in his community, and being the change he wants to see.

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