Better Than Power Point | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Better Than Power Point

Better Than Power Point
Louise Kuklis, an instructor in TC’s Program in Social Studies and Education who retired in 2009 from Edgemont High in Scarsdale, New York, considers engaging students her life’s work. At Edgemont, Kuklis found that students’ eyes glazed over when they read economics textbooks, so she developed her own lessons, creating simulations and piecing together information from the Council for Economic Education and the Foundation for Teaching Economics.

When Kuklis learned about the “Understanding Fiscal Responsibility” project from her son, Timothy, a social studies teacher at New Rochelle High School and TC alumnus whose advisor was Marri, she decided to get involved. Kuklis collaborated with the TC team on a simulation of the federal budget appropriation process. Over the course of two 45-minute periods, the teacher, acting as the President, submits a national budget. The simulation involves lobbying by various interest groups and reveals what happens when the members of Congress cut deals to assure passage. There are roles for legislators serving on agriculture and defense subcommittees, lobbyists, journalists and even private citizens.

“Kids learn by doing,” says Kuklis, now teaching an online course in economics instruction at TC. “It’s much better than having the teacher drone on and show endless Power Point presentations.”

Published Wednesday, May. 11, 2011