For immediate release

Contact: Kelly Antonacci, Media Relations

Philadelphia – The Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia, Atlanta, and St. Louis have created a program to train educators on best practices for teaching economics, with a special focus on reaching children of color in low- and moderate-income school districts.

Over the next three years, the Federal Reserve Education Fellows (FREF) program will train middle and high school teachers in five school districts to make economics relevant and interesting for students of color.

“Economics impacts everyone, every day, at every stage of our lives,” said Patrick Harker, president and chief executive officer of the Philadelphia Fed. “An economic education should be foundational and available to everyone.”

Besides helping students become knowledgeable participants in the economy, the FREF program aims to give educators the tools that will encourage students to consider a career in economics. Research in the Journal of Economic Education shows that 31.3 percent of graduate students in economics were women and 11.8 percent were Black, Hispanic, or Native American.

“Getting students interested in pursuing careers in economics is a critical first step toward increasing the number of women and students of color in economics graduate programs,” said Andrew Hill, assistant vice president and economic education leader at the Philadelphia Fed. “With this program, we are introducing students to how economics can help explain the world around them.”

The first class of teachers comprises 19 fifth-grade, middle school, and high school teachers from:

  • Colonial School District (Delaware)
  • Ferguson-Florissant School District (suburban St. Louis)
  • Jennings School District (suburban St. Louis)
  • Atlanta Public Schools
  • Bibb County School District (Macon, Georgia)

In June, participants attended a weeklong program at the St. Louis Fed, where economic education teams from the Philadelphia, Atlanta, and St. Louis Federal Reserve Banks provided economic content and demonstrated effective instruction methods. Economic instructors from the University of Delaware, the Georgia Council on Economic Education, Illinois State University, and Starr’s Mill High School also assisted with the training.

During the 2022–23 school year, the fellows will teach the appropriate grade-level curriculum to their students and develop best practices. In 2024, participants who successfully complete the program may qualify to become teacher consultants for the next cohort of fellows.