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Economic Issues for Teachers


Scottsdale, AZ
January 15 – 17, 2022

Courtyard Scottsdale Old Town

This residential program presents the FTE Economic Issues curriculum units in a concentrated three-day setting. Each of the units is comprised of 5 – 7 lessons that include background content outline, student activities and simulations, and source lists. Economic Issues participants are introduced to the curriculum units through involvement in lessons and simulations from each of the units.

  • $150 registration fee
  • $350 professional development grants available*
  • $100 commuter stipend for participants who commute to and from the hotel each day*
  • 2 optional graduate credit hours available for $244

*only awarded upon successful completion of all program sessions 



Issues of International Trade

Trade issues have been at the forefront of recent current events: tariffs, trade deficits, Brexit, the global market, sweatshops, child labor, sanctions, embargoes, renegotiating NAFTA, the EU, WTO – the seemingly endless alphabet of interest groups, treaties, organizations, and trade agreements.

As a classroom topic, international trade has the great advantage of providing ready-made material for teachers wanting to engage student interest in current events. However, the complexity of the issues surrounding trade is daunting. While economic reasoning doesn’t guarantee resolution of the issues, it is a powerful tool of critical thinking that brings clarity to the discussion of current events. The ability to determine comparative advantage through opportunity cost, the ability to identify incentives and predict resulting behavior, and the ability to use supply and demand analysis of particular labor and resource markets, help students to set aside the emotion of international trade issues and cut through the rhetoric of media reports.

This workshop will offer examples and classroom activities that help students build a foundation for their opinions on the news of the day.

Visit Lesson Plans to review the curriculum.


The Economics of Disasters

This set of lessons looks at a variety of natural disasters of the past – from the Black Death of the Middle Ages, to Hurricane Katrina, as well as the recent SARS and COVID-19 pandemics – through the lens of economic analysis. The contexts were chosen to facilitate the teaching of economic reasoning principles in history, current events, and other social studies courses in addition to economics.

Each lesson addresses a question that reflects people’s compassionate reaction to news of disasters and develops one or two key tools of economic analysis in answering that question. Case studies of past disasters provide real-world illustrations.

Visit Economics of Disasters Lesson Plans to review the curriculum.


Federal Budgets, Debts and Deficits – NEW PROGRAM

FTE is pleased to roll out a new economic issues program:  Federal Budgets, Debts, and Deficits. In response to COVID-19, the U.S. federal government has pushed the U.S. national debt to record levels.

Due to the potential economic implications of the national debt, it is important to understand what it is, how it is financed and what is driving changes in the debt over time. Economic reasoning principles can help provide clarity with those questions. The curriculum will focus on:

  • the budget process – what it should be and what it is
  • the specter of unfunded liabilities
  • the debt and deficit – how bad is it?
  • transparency in budgeting
  • public choice theory and public debt
  • what should students know about our debt?

As with all FTE programs, participants will leave the program with classroom activities.


In addition, the following measures will be adopted during all upcoming in-person Economic Issues for Teachers programs:

  • all participants will be housed in single rooms, instead of double-occupancy rooms, unless otherwise requested;
  • meeting rooms will be larger to allow for appropriate social distancing for participants during lectures and activities;
  • face masks and hand sanitizer will be provided for all participants;
  • mandatory temperature checks will be be done at the start of each program day; and
  • the FTE will work in conjunction with our host hotel to ensure that the highest standards are met to ensure cleanliness throughout the meeting spaces, common areas, and catered serving areas.