Social Studies Teacher Recognized for Innovative Teaching Practice

A national organization recognized a social studies teacher at The Academy at Lincoln for her innovative class project to teach entrepreneurship and free enterprise education.

Cynthia Taylor received the Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education from the Freedoms Foundation, a national educational nonprofit encouraging participation in engaged and responsible citizenship.

Taylor’s year-long class project asks students to create a currency and form business plans to sell goods and services. They also apply for a class job, receive biweekly paychecks, keep a ledger of transactions and pay taxes in April. At the end of the year, they have the chance to spend their currency on items in the school auction.

“Our year-long elementary market provides the elementary students an authentic, real-life, hands-on economic scenario,” says Taylor. “Students learn to apply principles learned in class through this process, and look forward to the bimonthly market. They love to hear the whistle blow, and me saying, ‘Market is Open’.”

The Leavey Award program recognizes educators at the elementary, junior high, high school and college levels for innovative and effective techniques in teaching entrepreneurship and free enterprise education. Taylor was one of 12 educators honored for seven award-winning project this year. More than 600 teachers have received the award since 1977.