Ferrarini's Japan Workshop, Textbook

Put NMU Center on Global Map

Tawni Ferrarini (Economics, standing center) presented a two-day workshop for K-12 teachers from all over Japan during a recent visit to the country (preceding the earthquake and tsunami). She represented the NMU Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, which she co-directs, and the national Council for Economic Education (CEE).

The president of Japan Junior Achievement, an economics and personal finance program, participated in a course Ferrarini delivered in New York City.  He requested that she conduct a workshop in his country, with help from two translators. Thirty teachers attended the session, sponsored by The workshop series was sponsored by CEE-Japan and Daiwa Securities. Each received U.P. mementos.

“In the group photo, we are holding up packets of iron ore pellets donated by Cliffs Natural Resources,” said Ferrarini, who is also the NMU Sam M. Cohodas Professor. “Rock candy subsidized by Donckers and a copper coin I purchased with a stamp of the U.P. map as a gift from the CEEE also found their way into the hands of these Japanese teachers.  Raw resources are highly valued in Japan, so I thought this combination of gifts would be symbolic of the mutually beneficial relationship between the U.P. and Japan.

“This helps to put Northern’s CEEE on the global map. We’ve made a regional impact and received state and national recognition. Now we’re tapping international venues. I plan to continue work with the CEE-Japan and will likely return for future workshops.”

Ferrarini is also bringing attention to the CEEE and NMU by promoting the newly revised textbook Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know about Wealth and Prosperity. She was invited to be the fourth author of the second edition published last fall and maintains an accompanying website with information on the book, instructional and learning tools, supplementary materials and links to pop culture economics references and other resources designed to make economics fun.

“The book is written from a basic level so it is readable and easy to understand,” she said. “It is divided into four parts that address the key elements of economics, seven fundamentals for economic growth, the role of government and practical personal finance. It really gets down to the nitty gritty of how the economy works and how people can make sound economic choices and financial decisions—both personally and politically. Every decision is an economic one and the choices we make impact ourselves, others and society. This shows how economics relates to every aspect of life.”

In a review of the textbook, 2002 Nobel Prize winner Vernon Smith wrote, “This book provides the ABCs of how the world creates wealth without anyone having to be in charge because of market incentives. People are free to specialize and by focusing on what they can do best for themselves, do unintended good for the rest of us. There is no other route to human betterment and poverty reduction.”

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Updated: March 31, 2011

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