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Economists in the Schools

The Economists in the Schools program promotes economic education by creating partnerships between Trinity University and San Antonio public schools. Under the program, teachers, school students and Trinity students of all majors work together to develop their conceptual understanding of economics, and thus apply the knowledge in meaningful ways.

Participating students spend the semester developing lesson plans, and actively teaching the fundamentals of economics. Lesson plans are reviewed and rehearsed to ensure quality and effective classroom instruction. To bring understanding of concepts like scarcity, trade and comparative advantages, students in the past have created a mock antitrust trial and built a semester-long lesson plan themed around the movie Mission Impossible.

Please see below for resources, lesson plans and FAQs for both Trinity students and teachers from participating schools. For more general information about the program, please go here.


Show Business: The Economics of Entertainment - Illustrates economics in action

Economics in the Schools - Workshop on developmental needs and best pedagogy for young adolescents

EIS Teaching Strategies - Helpful tips to make your teaching more effective

Lesson Plans

Browse EIS lessons by grade or concept. The EIS library contains student-authored lessons that have been classroom tested.

Fifth Grade

Scarcity / Opportunity Cost / Resources

Specialization / Comparative Advantage / Trade

Supply / Demand / Equilibrium

Economics of Going to College

Sixth Grade

Scarcity / Opportunity Cost / Resources / Factors of Production

Specialization / Comparative Advantage / Trade

Supply / Demand / Equilibrium

Economics of Going to College

Concept Review

High School

Market Equilibrium / Disequilibrium Activity

Federal Reserve Activity

Inflation and Market Basket Activity

Fiscal and Monetary Policy Combination Activity

Philip's Curve Activity

Unemployment Activity

Stock Market and Investment Activity

Alternative Economic Systems Activity

GDP Activity

Frequently Asked Questions from Trinity Students

What are the benefits of participating?

  • Attain a greater understanding of economic reasoning. "You have to master something in order to teach it."
  • Enhance communication and presentation skills.
  • Appreciate and experience the rewards of teaching.

Do I have to be an economics major to participate?

The program is open to all majors, but it does require an economics background. To teach elementary or middle school lessons, you need to have taken Principles of Microeconomics; to teach high school lessons, you must also have taken Principles of Macroeconomics.

What is my grade based on?

Your grade will be based on the final copies of your lesson, on a review from the teachers, and on a review from your team.

What is the time commitment?

This is a 1-hour course, so the time commitment is appropriate for this credit. Of course, the big time commitment is the time spent in the classroom teaching the lessons. You will also have rehearsal time with either a faculty adviser or a student adviser. The rest of the time commitment is the team's lesson preparation time.

Frequently Asked Questions from Teachers

How will this help my students?

Past experience shows that students who connect with the concepts are excited and engaged, and they retain the ideas presented.

Elementary teachers have told us that they can ask their students about economic concepts many weeks after they have been taught, and they still receive correct responses. Eighth grade middle school teachers have said that they can tell which students participated in the program in 7th grade, and high schools have compared exam results with the class that was in the program and with a class that was not. The results of the EIS class were significantly better.

What will I have to do?

The biggest thing you will have to do is to open your classroom to us for the time period. You will also be responsible for classroom discipline while the team is there. We also ask that you provide feedback after the team's performance.