A Comprehensive Curriculum Highlighting the Nation’s Fiscal Challenges

Apr 25, 2012

Now available: videos of the Understanding Fiscal Responsibility curriculum taught in classrooms. Watch as teachers apply their lesson plans within the context of America's national financial challenges.

Photo credit: Samantha Isom, courtesy of Teachers College

To improve instruction on economic policy issues, the Foundation provided a three-year grant to Columbia University’s Teachers College to develop a comprehensive curriculum for courses in economics, civics, U.S. history, world history, and mathematics, highlighting the nation’s fiscal challenges. When completed, the curriculum will be made available free of charge to every high school in the country.

Titled “Understanding Fiscal Responsibility: A Curriculum for Teaching About the Federal Budget, National Debt, and Budget Deficit,” the research-based, inquiry-driven Understanding Fiscal Responsibility (UFR) lessons connect students to the current public policy dilemmas about the federal budget, national debt, and budget deficit that confront the United States and its citizens. These lessons engage students in these critical dilemmas and include the resources students will need to deepen their understanding of the complex issues the dilemmas raise. An advisory board of experts in economics, fiscal policy, and education has reviewed the lessons. The curriculum incorporates books, primary sources, simulations, and other visual and digital media.

After field-testing the curriculum in 56 classrooms in Texas, Ohio, and New York, the final version will be distributed nationwide in 2012. Columbia Teachers College has commissioned the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST) to conduct an evaluation of the results of the curriculum.

Teachers College is ideally suited for this project. Since its founding in 1887, the College has taken the lead in advancing educational reforms and issues. With its tradition of innovation and insights, Teachers College is one of the premiere schools of education in the country.

To request a free copy of the curriculum, register at UnderstandingFiscalResponsibility.org

Watch a demonstration of the Understanding Fiscal Responsibility curriculum being taught in a New York City classroom

Video credit: courtesy of Teachers College

Read about the curriculum on EdWeek.org

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