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PBS TEACHERS® OFFERS NEW COLLECTION OF RESOURCES FOR TEACHING CRITICAL ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL LITERACY SKILLS

PBS Teachers launches its contribution to public media’s Economy Collaboration project, based on the recent global financial crisis, to help students understand complex economic concepts


ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 15, 2009 – In the wake of one of the worst economic downturns in American history, educators have the opportunity to teach students important economic and financial literacy lessons, and help them become both effective citizens and future leaders in business and government. As part of a collaborative public media initiative, PBS Teachers® ( pbsteachers.org) has developed Access, Analyze, Act: From Economic Theory to Financial Reality, a special collection of educational digital media resources about the economy for use in school and home learning environments. PBS Teachers is the Web portal to PBS’ preK-12 educational services and a searchable library of more than 9,000 free local and national standards-based instructional resources, including on-demand video, lesson plans, classroom activities, and interactive games.

“The events of the past year on Wall Street and in Washington, D.C., offer a unique lens through which teachers can examine economic theories, events and issues with their students, while teaching critical thinking skills,” said Donelle Blubaugh, PBS Education Director. “PBS’ collection of high-quality instructional resources on the economy enable educators to provide an engaging learning environment for students to connect abstract, challenging economic concepts such as securitization and derivatives with real-world examples to gain a better understanding of how the U.S. economy works. Students also learn about important issues facing their communities.”

Access, Analyze, Act is designed to help high school students develop foundational knowledge of economics through problem solving, analyzing data and opinions, communicating ideas, demonstrating understanding, and acting on what they have learned in authentic ways.

The Web site for the collection features a welcome introduction by PBS NOW’s host and senior editor, David Brancaccio, encouraging teachers to make the study of economics a personal story. He also recommends specific resources for teachers to stay informed to meet this educational challenge. The media-rich collection features eight lessons plans focused on real-world case studies on four economic topics, with introductions by Michael Mandel, chief economist for BusinessWeek. Mandel also talked to Youth Radio’s Loren Silverman in an exclusive interview that explores economic and financial issues from a young person’s point of view. Additional resources include: a glossary of economic terms – some of which are presented in lively animations or offered in a widget – and a comprehensive listing of PBS’s original content, digital media and Web resources related to the economy.

The Access, Analyze, Act resource collection is part of the Economy Collaboration project. Through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a collaboration of public media organizations are producing a wide range of stories and resources on the economy for public and station use. This unique collaboration harnesses the formidable news assets across all of public media to inform the American people about important economic issues in their community – and around the world. Public Media's Economy Story ( economystory.org) provides a one-stop shop for finding thoughtful editorial coverage of wide-ranging issues facing the American economy and their global implications. Partners in the collaboration include NPR, “The NewsHour,” PBS, PRX, PRI's “The World,” “Marketplace” (American Public Media), “Nightly Business Report,” Youth Radio/Youth Media International (YMI), Capitol News Connection, Public Interactive (PI), WNYC, and KQED.

In March, PBS Teachers and Classroom 2.0 are hosting a free webinar for teachers demonstrating ways to integrate the economic education resources into the classroom. For more information, go to http://www.pbsteachers.org/webinar.

Access, Analyze, Act is available for free at http://www.pbs.org/teachers/access-analyze-act-economy/.

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CONTACT:
Kevin Dando, PBS, 703/739-5073, kdando@pbs.org
Kristen Plemon, C. Blohm & Associates, 608/839-9805, kristen@cblohm.com


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