Since forming a strategic partnership with the Foundation for Teaching Economics in 2013, TFAS has been complemented by the excellent work FTE does to train teachers and high school students in economic thinking and leadership.
In August 2014, FTE held a student reunion in Washington, D.C. for graduates of their Economics for Leaders (EFL) program. The TFAS staff attended several events at the reunion, called the Advanced Leadership Academy, to learn more about the outstanding curriculum and students of FTE.
FTE alumni, who now will enter a number of prestigious colleges and universities in the fall, have high praise for the impact of their EFL training.
Student Anthony Iacovetti (EFL 13) said that what he learned at FTE made him approach school and his extracurricular activities, such as cross-country, with a broader vision.
“FTE made me realize how important it is to consider everyone’s opinion. On a cross-country team, you have to think about how decisions impact even the newest freshman on the team,” Iacovetti said.
Alumna Emily Davies (EFL 13) said she came from a small high school in Elmira, New York that didn’t offer economics classes, so FTE exposed her to a new discipline, economics, which will play a role in her studies at Harvard University this fall.
“I was surprised at how practical and applicable economics are to every day life,” Davies said. “The teachers were so wonderful, they made economics fun.”
Students spent the reunion week in D.C. reconnecting with their friends, touring sites in D.C. and of course learning more economic applications. At EFL, the course material exposed students to economics and its applications in real life situations, and taught them to be collaborative leaders. At Advanced Leadership Academy, students began studying economic history.
Kathy Ratté, curriculum development director at FTE, said the objective of the academy was to “try to get the students to apply economics in a different context.”
As students visited Arlington Cemetery and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, they explored the opportunity cost of leadership and the application of the 5 Economic Reasoning Propositions.
“Economic reasoning is a critical thinking skill that everyone should have,” Ratté said.
Student Luis Aldrete (EFL 13) said he was surprised by what they learned at the Academy.
“I was surprised that economics is so tied to history. Even on a micro level, a small portion of history can affect economics, or economics can affect history,” Aldrete said.
As FTE students head to college, they will take elements of the FTE training with them, and hopefully join a TFAS program to “live. learn. intern.” during their college career. The students of FTE are left with impressions similar to those of TFAS alumni:
“I love FTE. It lets everyone come together. Everyone grows a lot and finds out who they are as leaders,” Aldrete said. “Students find out they’re capable of achieving real things and it helps people get out of their shells.”
To learn more about FTE programs, visit their website at www.FTE.org.