Vermont Council on Economic Education
The CFA Society Vermont has supported the Vermont Council on Economic Education’s stock market game for the past few years. In 2012, our member Myron Sopher procured an additional $10,000 of funding from the CFA Institute to allow more Vermont schools and students to participate in this educational opportunity. Please find details on this important organization below.
In 1999 Art Woolf started The Vermont Council on Economic Education, an organization that helps Vermont teachers in grades K-12 integrate economics in their curriculum. He works closely with the Council for Economic Education. Their website is at www.councilforeconed.org.
What is The Vermont Council on Economic Education?
The Vermont Council on Economic Education was started in 1999 and is the newest of the 49 state economic councils on education. They are the delivery organizations of the Council on Economic Education, which was founded in 1949.
What Are Our goals?
The Vermont Council’s goal is to improve the quality of economic instruction in Vermont’s schools and economic literacy among Vermont’s school children. The six basic principles of economics that underpin the large amount of curricular materials are:
- People choose.
- People’s choices involve costs.
- People’s choices have consequences for the future.
- People respond to incentives.
- People create economic systems that influence individual choices and incentives.
- People gain when they trade voluntarily.
How will the Vermont Council accomplish these goals?
We recognize that no school teachers are professional economists and few have even taken economics courses in college. The Vermont Council organizes workshops, seminars, courses, and training sessions for teachers and coordinates the Vermont Stock Market Game, a national real-time stock market simulation run by the Foundation for Investor Education, the non-profit educational arm of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).
What types of materials are available for teachers?
The curriculum includes, among others, basic personal finance and economics for all grade levels, including lower and middle primary grades; applications of economics to U.S. and world history, geography, civics, government, science, environmental studies, and math classes. Materials are available to teach, for example, the benefits of international trade to primary school students and the use of cost-benefit analysis for classes on the environment.
Why is this important?
Recent studies and surveys have shown that economic literacy among Americans of all ages is low. If we want people to make informed choices about their own careers, savings, retirement, and personal finance, and to be better informed about national and worldwide economic problems and issues, then they need to learn basic economic concepts and tools.
What Teachers and Participants Have Said
“My discussions at Colchester High School and Burlington High School went very well. I spent about an hour at one and 40 minutes at the second. The young people were very attentive and very curious about the stock market and investing. I took along my buy list and explained what stock criteria I use to pick stocks. We also discussed the melt down of the markets in 2008 and the causes of the meltdown and the strength of the recovery and what areas are recovering currently. We talked about QE1, 2, and 3? , interest rates, inflation, and how to research stocks on the internet. They were very appreciative and I have received several thank you notes from teachers as well as from students. Kids these days are very net savvy and enjoy looking online at sites like Yahoo Finance. We also talked about regular investing and compounding interest over time. They were amazed at how much money can be amassed with time and patience. Thanks for letting me know about the opportunity. I plan to sign up again next semester in the Fall.”
-Gary W. Eley, Founder, Eley Financial Management
“For many years our elementary school has participated in the Stock Market Game, which is channeled through our enrichment program. We target grades five and six in the Spring of each year. I love the fact it is a real life simulation and so do the kids. Students look forward to the activity each year. It promotes higher level thinking, teamwork and math skills. The involvement consistently generates tremendous enthusiasm causing many students to forgo recess to “check their stocks.” Parents, too are smitten with the idea that their children are learning about money. Involvement with the stock market game provides students the opportunity to go above and beyond the classroom. It challenges students.”
- Janice Ryan, Enrichment Teacher