University of Wisconsin-River Falls

News Source

Jan. 12, 2004


Center for Economic Education Offers Online Courses
By Sarah Matara
UW-RF News Bureau

The Center for Economic Education at UW-River Falls is offering five online economics courses designed especially for teachers beginning Feb. 2. The courses must be completed by May 7.

Courses offered include personal investing and financial markets, the global economy, transition to market economies, great economists of the past and present and the Roaring 20s through the Great Depression.

The Center for Economic Education at UW-River Falls provides teachers with opportunities to improve the quality of their courses and make economics interesting for students.

It provides many opportunities for teachers to take online graduate courses. Each course includes teaching and learning resources appropriate for middle school and high school students. Course material and activities are related to Wisconsin Academic Standards in economics for grades 8 and 12.

Teachers can register for all five courses or choose the ones that best meet their needs. Each course is worth one graduate credit. For directions on how to register, go to http://www.uwrf.edu/ogs/1registration1/php. The tuition for each one-credit course is $269. There may be partial reimbursement for Wisconsin teachers. For more information, contact UW-RF economics Professor Brian Schultz at 715/425-3269 or brian.l.schultz @uwrf.edu.

The Center also furnishes workshops, in-service training, graduate courses, access to a well-stocked library of resources, access to UW-RF economics professors as classroom speakers and information specialists and many other activities.

The purpose of the Center is to provide teachers with new and fresh teaching ideas, to give students a working practical knowledge of economics and to allow teachers to incorporate economics in other subjects.

Teachers also participate in courses and workshops to meet certification and professional development requirements, to keep current with new trends in economics and to move up the salary scale.

Schultz has been the director for the Center at UW-RF since its inception in the fall of 1997. He was recently named the state program director as well. In 1984, he was named UW-RF's Distinguished Teacher of the Year, the highest teaching honor that a faculty member can receive at UW-RF.

Schultz said that not just economics teachers attend his workshops. He recently conducted a workshop to show teachers how to incorporate economics into mathematics lessons.

"One of our goals is to show teachers that economics can infiltrate any subject. Sometimes when I have a workshop, I use experienced 'master teachers' from high schools and middle schools who know how to fit what I teach into public education," Schultz said.

The Center has a well-stocked library on the UW-RF campus, in South Hall. Teachers have access to a variety of economic teaching materials, such as lesson plans, AP books, videos and children's literature that uses stories and mysteries to teach children economics lessons.

Another popular feature the Center for Economic Education provides is a stock market simulation game named STOCK-TRAK. Student teams learn about business and the economy while managing hypothetical $100,000 investment portfolios. This game is available to all schools in Wisconsin. To be eligible, teachers must attend a free training workshop, where they learn how to play the game, use the curriculum materials and understand the economics of the securities markets. Advance registration for the workshops is necessary. Teachers unable to attend a workshop may take the Online Teacher Workshop. For more information, go to www.economicswisconsin.org or contact Schultz.

UW-RF is one of nine Centers for Economic Education in Wisconsin. The others are located at Edgewood College in Madison, UW-La Crosse, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Whitewater and St. Nobert College in Green Bay. UW-RF's Center serves Cooperative Educational Service Agencies 10, 11 and 12, which cover northwestern Wisconsin.

The Center's activities are provided in a variety of locations, such as the UW-RF campus and designated sites within CESAs 10-12, like high schools or technical colleges. Distance education technology and the Internet are also used to reach multiple locations.

The Center for Economic Education began at UW-RF in the fall of 1997. It is affiliated with EconomicsWisconsin, a private non-profit, non-partisan organization funded by individual, corporate and foundation donations. EconomicsWisconsin provides financial and administrative support for programs offered by the nine centers within the state. It is affiliated with the National Council on Economic Education and its nationwide network of councils and centers.

For more information about the services at the Center for Economic Education at UW-RF, contact Schultz. For more information concerning other Centers for Economic Education in Wisconsin, go to www.economicswisconsin.org.

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