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Economics & Government

Engage with instructors who bring a rich background of expertise to your school while presenting in a humorous and innovative way that will open students' minds to the ideas and principles that form the basis of good societies - all free of charge!

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Here's What Other Teachers are Saying:

The one-day program allowed my AP U.S. History students to experience a college style approach to philosophy and economics, as well as an uplifting intellectual experience. The hands-on, student-driven economic activities, combined with the open-dialogue philosophical discussions, transformed the Barbourville High School library into a salon-like atmosphere, which the vast majority of my students had never had the privilege of experiencing.”

Joshua De Borde, Barbourville Public High School (Barbourville, KY)

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I have had the privilege of having James and Antony to my school twice in the last three years through their one-day seminar. The information they provide to students lasts throughout their college years. The fact that they are able to come to Denver, at no cost to the school, and run classes and simulations with students, has proved to be the highlight of many of my students’ high school years.

Kurt Gutschick, Valor Christian High School (Highlands Ranch, CO)

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Professors James R. Harrigan, Antony Davies, Phil Magness, Thomas Krannawitter, and more lead four 1-hour lectures and experiments that explore the role that politics, philosophy, and economics play in American public life.

Here are some topics they touch on.

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The Knowledge Problem

The Knowledge Problem explores the limits of human knowledge in a unique way. This course begins with Leonard Read’s classic essay “I, Pencil." Students will experience a true "aha!" moment taking a look at one of the most basic yet complicated objects of our time - the lowly wood pencil.  This learning track perfectly illustrates that although no one person has the knowledge to build even a single pencil from scratch, pencils are made and brought to the market every day. How? What does the answer to that question tell us about other things humans build? Participants will be thinking and talking about centralized versus decentralized approaches to solving complex problems.

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Experimenting

Let's see the knowledge problem in action. In the second session students participate in an activity in which they attempt to manage an economy. Students examine data collected from the activity in light of the knowledge problem and property rights. The students then explore real-world examples that demonstrate how the knowledge problem creates unintended consequences. Participants will have time to reflect and compare what they found in relation to what economists observe in the real world.

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Understanding Rights

Finally, students explore how rights provide guidance for limitations on both markets and government. A strong reliance on markets does not mean that all markets are legitimate, nor does a strong reliance on government mean that all government action is legitimate. The contours of this question are addressed here, largely through the lens of rights as they are understood in the United States, both during the time of the Founding and thereafter.

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profesorssss-1Meet Your Faculty:

Professors James R. Harrigan, Antony Davies, Signe Thomas, Rosie Fike, and more (see FAQ below for full list) lead four 1-hour sections of lectures, economic experiments, and discussions that will inspire and empower students. Students will learn how incentives, rights, and people's interactions with one another shape our economy and government. We are pleased to announce they can visit your school at no charge. Any U.S. high school with 75+ students qualify as a host for this program, and we can accommodate up to 150+ students per program.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the program?

We tailor the exact length of the program to your schedule. We need a minimum of 3 hours (four, 45-minute sessions) and a maximum of 4 hours (four, 60-minute sessions).

We also offer an optional one hour, add-on session to talk about college readiness (applications, admissions, majors, etc.). You can also host the program in two, 90-minute blocks as long as they are back-to-back blocks. Due to funding limitations, all four sessions must occur on the same day.

Can different groups of students participate in each of the four sessions?

No, the content builds throughout the day so the same group of students must participate in all four sessions.

What do I need to prepare to host the program?

Follow these helpful tips: 

1. Talk to the decision-maker at your school who can approve hosting the program. 

Students participating in the program will miss some of their other classes so you’ll need to work with your administration for approval to host the Economics and Government Program during a school day. The content builds throughout the day so the same group of students should participate from beginning to end. It’s like an in-school, content-rich field trip without the hassle of scheduling chaperones or buses! And, we provide the entire program at no cost to you or your school!

The program is a minimum of three hours and a maximum of four hours. We also offer an optional one-hour college talk at the end of the program to discuss the mechanics of applying to and selecting a college, how to choose a major and some advice for negotiating how to pay for college.

You’ll also need to secure a space large enough to accommodate your group of students. This could be in the library, an auditorium, or some other assembly space. The room must have a screen and projector that connects to a laptop. 

2. Contact FEE to secure a date for the program. (Submit the form below and then contact us at seminars@fee.org to set up a date to visit). 

We’ll work with you to find a date that works with your schedule and with our faculty. We’re currently booking visits for the 2019-20 academic year. 

3. About a month before the program, FEE will confirm the details of our visit with you.

We’ll ask to confirm the number of students who will participate to ensure we bring enough materials and we will schedule a shipment of books and brochures to arrive around the time of the program. At this time, we will also work with you on a detailed schedule for the day, including arrival instructions and the times that the seminar should begin and end, so that we can make appropriate travel arrangements. 

4. Enjoy the program! 

On the day of the program, we hope that you will sit-in the seminars and even participate in the experiments. Your colleagues—teachers and administrators—are welcome to join us too as their schedule permits.

 

Who are the other instructors?

  • Rose Fike, Instructor of Economics at Texas Christian University
  • Kevin Gomez, Institute for Economic Inquiry Program Manager and Instructor of Economics
  • Stephen Miller, Adams-Bibby Chair in Free Enterprise at the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University
  • Todd Nesbit, Assistant professor of economics and assistant director of the Institute for the Study of Political Economy in the Miller College of Business at Ball State University
  • James Stacy Taylor, Professor of Philosophy at The College of New Jersey
  • Signe Thomas, Teaching specialist professor with Florida State University’s Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship
  • Chad Van Scholendt, Assistant Professor at Tulane University
  • Pavel Yakovlev, Associate Professor of Economics at the Palumbo Donahue School of Business

Who do you recommend for this program?

Junior and Senior honors and AP-level students are the recommended audience. 

 
Contact Us
Email us at seminars@FEE.org if you have questions. Follow us on social @feeonline.