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2013′s Summer Institute Group

Two institutes set for summer 2014

Institutes in economics and personal finance are set for JMU in the summer of 2014. The institutes are geared toward, but not limited to, teachers of the required high school class in personal finance and economics. The Economics Institute, set for July 7-8-9 and 14-15-16, covers the economics portion of the class with instruction on content, methods and materials. The Personal Finance Institute, set for July 21-25, not only covers the personal finance part of the course but also provides excellent materials for personal financial planning by teachers. The institutes, coordinated by the Virginia Council on Economic Education, are free to participants, thanks to generous financial support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the BB&T Charitable Foundation, Capital One, the Genworth Foundation, Shenandoah Valley Economic Education, Inc., the SunTrust Foundation, the Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation and Wells Fargo. More information and registration are available at http://www.vcee.org/workshop/view/886 (economics) and http://www.vcee.org/workshop/view/887 (personal finance).

Rockingham-Harrisonburg prizes expanded

A new prize and increased cash awards are among the highlights of economic education awards competition in Rockingham County and Harrisonburg for 2014. Under the new structure, there will be an overall $1000 grand prize and a $750 reserve grand prize. In addition, there will be grade-level awards in four categories: PK-3, 4-5, middle school and high school. For each category, the new first-place prize money is $500. Second place in each category carries a $300 prize and the third place award will be $200. A total of 12 category prizes and two overall prizes are being funded in the new structure.

The increased funding was made possible by Shenandoah Valley Economic Education, Inc., the nonprofit organization that funds teacher outreach through the JMU Center for Economic Education. SVEE joins the Harrisonburg Rotary Club and Harrisonburg-Rockingham in sponsoring the annual awards competition.

To enter, just teach a lesson or unit with economic content, write up what you did, and get it to the Center for Economic Education before the June 16 deadline. Lynne Stover of the JMU Center is available to consult with you throughout the process. Our number one tip: don’t throw anything away! (Pictures, student work and other materials are vital in showing the judges what you did.)

All entries into the local competition are automatically forwarded to state competition for judging. There are multiple prizes at the state level, sponsored by the Virginia Council on Economic Education.

We have moved — come and see us!

icehouseThe Center for Economic Education has completed its move to the Ice House in downtown Harrisonburg. Our address is 127 West Bruce Street. The main front of the Ice House project faces West Liberty Street. Here are directions; our first workshop at the Ice House is set for May 7 (Yummy Economics, 3:45 p.m.) Registration is still open. The Ice House is a multiple-use urban development. JMU offices are there now, and future phases will add residential and commercial development. It’s called the Ice House because it’s built on the site of the original Cassco Ice building, incorporating a number of historical features and original structures.

Call for hosts and co-presenters

We will soon begin working on the economic education workshop schedule for fall 2014. If you would be interested in hosting one of our workshops at your school, please contact Lynne Stover. If you’re a host, then all your school is asked to provide is the room on the scheduled day and time. We do the rest, bringing materials and refreshments. We handle enrollment and printing of certificates for participants. In addition to hosts, we’re also looking for co-presenters, who would handle part of the workshop teaching duties along with Lynne. Lynne has a lot of experience tag-team teaching and will happily make your role as large or as small as you’d prefer for it to be. Contact Lynne by April 1 if you’re interested.

GEM Fair March 12

This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Marketplace Fair (GEM Fair) is set for Wednesday, March 12, at the JMU Festival Conference Center. At a GEM Fair, students from Mini-Economies across the region bring their products to sell in a simulated international marketplace. Information and registration materials are available at the GEM Fair page on this site.

Economic history paper published

American history provides an excellent context for teaching economics, according to JMU’s William C. Wood and coauthors M. Scott Niederjohn and Mark C. Schug. In a paper published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Private Enterprise, the three economic educators argue for teaching the economic way of thinking in studying American history. Their paper shows how economic forces are vital in understanding historical events. The paper also introduces, and releases to other researchers, a new assessment instrument designed to test economic thinking skills. Here is a link to the paper on the journal’s website:

The Case for Teaching Economics in American History: Assessment and the Economic Way of Thinking