Information about Summer 2021 Pre-College Economics Programs

Foundation for Teaching Economics
Posted at February 26

If you or your students have questions about Foundation for Teaching Economics pre-college programs, listen to our February 17 webinar held for Independent Education Consultants in HECA and IECA.

View Recording Here: 

Contact us with any questions. 

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Creativity and critical reasoning: how Pioneer scholars leverage divergent and convergent thinking in generating original research questions

The Pioneer Research Program
Posted at January 27

Formulating an original research question can be a daunting task–especially for a high school student. Amy Li, Founding Director of Pioneer Academics, describes a Pioneer scholar in Anthropology who was struggling to generate a research topic. While the student knew she needed to be creative, she felt limited by the constraints of the research process. Seeing that she was stuck, her professor suggested that observe her social surroundings and write down fifty questions about her observations. Through this exercise, she was able to generate ideas freely without constraints. Only after she had written these fifty questions did she begin to think critically to evaluate them and choose the most appropriate research question. In doing so, she was able to find a research topic that was both original and feasible. 

Research requires two types of thinking. The first, divergent thinking, is creative thinking in which an individual comes up with new ideas that are different from what he or ...more

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Five Ways Pioneer Academics Fosters Authentic Learning

The Pioneer Research Program
Posted at January 12

Students often doubt the relevance of a classroom education––as any teacher knows, “When will I use this in real life?” is a perennial question. Authentic learning is a methodology that educators can use to bridge the disconnect between education and “real life.” In an authentic learning experience, students address real-world problems that are personally and culturally relevant. They engage with these problems for a long period of time, working through challenges and complexities as they arise and producing a final product as evidence of their hard work. Pioneer Academics incorporates all of these elements into its cutting-edge student research program. 

Students address complex, real-world problems
In an authentic learning experience, students are not given artificial problems with clear-cut answers. Instead, they tackle real-world issues in all their complexity. When Harshika, a Pioneer scholar from India (Environmental Science, 2019), read an article about coral bleaching, the ...more

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Pioneer’s Academic Standards Ensure Student Research is Respected

The Pioneer Research Program
Posted at 12/29/2020

When you embark on the Pioneer Research Program, you join not only a community of Pioneer Scholars but an innovative research institute. Being a Pioneer Scholar means something because a research paper from Pioneer can be trusted and respected. Pioneer Scholars and faculty are both held to rigorous standards that allow Pioneer Academics to guarantee the quality and authenticity of their work. This is done through joint academic oversight by Pioneer and Oberlin College. In this article, we will explore the key academic standards that make the research of Pioneer Scholars respected. 

Approach to writing

Pioneer views writing a research paper as a holistic learning experience. Tutors in the online Writing Center may support students by providing detailed feedback and suggestions or explaining difficult grammatical concepts; however, Pioneer tutors are not “editors” and they never rewrite any part of papers. Through rounds of revisions guided by the writing coach’s suggestions, studen...more

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Pioneer’s rigorous academic system provides the foundation for students’ creativity in solving global problems

The Pioneer Research Program
Posted at 12/2/2020

According to education reformer Sir Ken Robinson, addressing the complex problems of the modern world will require a generation of creative thinkers in all fields. “The challenges we currently face are without precedent,” he says.  “More people live on this planet now than at any other time in history…We’re facing an increasing strain on the world’s natural resources. Technology is advancing at a headlong rate of speed. This is really new, and we’re going to need every ounce of ingenuity, imagination, and creativity to confront these problems.①” Involving students in the search for solutions to authentic, 21st century problems inspires engagement and creativity, and will help set up students as creative problem solvers in a rapidly changing, connected world.  

At Pioneer, creativity is a prerequisite for the research students perform over 28 research areas. Adopting a problem-solving mindset is one way that students can generate ideas and ask original questions. Pioneer’s uni...more

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Pioneer Academics fuels and maps “student driven” learning

The Pioneer Research Program
Posted at 10/27/2020

Abdullah, a Pioneer scholar from the United States (Accounting, 2019), wasn’t quite sure what to expect when he embarked on research with Pioneer.  “Before Pioneer Academics, my idea of research was… being in person, like in a lab, mixing different chemicals,” he says. “So I was confused about how this program could work online.  My idea was that I would be helping the professor with whatever small tasks he had and needed help with.” 

He was surprised to find that “it was completely the opposite!”  Throughout the course of his experience in the Pioneer Research Program, he explains, “I was in the driver’s seat of my research paper. I was the one in control of what it was going to talk about, what it would research, what I would contain. The professor was really just there to guide me and help with whatever questions I had about how the research should be conducted.” 

In a self-directed learning environment like Pioneer Academics’, the responsibility for learnin...more

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  • student-led learning
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  • online education
  • summer program
  • gifted education
  • Oberlin College
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College Admissions Lessons From Hamilton

Evelyn Jerome-Alexander, M.A., CEP Evelyn Jerome-Alexander, M.A., CEP
Posted at 8/17/2020

Have you ever thought about the lessons we can take from musical theatre?  It’s not just there for entertainment.  Here’s what we think you can learn about college admission from everyone’s favorite Broadway rap musical, Hamilton.

The Room Where It Happens

No one gets to be in the room where it happens – the college admission committee room.  No one really knows how the game is played, the art of the trade, how the sausage is made.

But we do know that every college admission team reviews thousands – tens of thousands – sometimes over a hundred thousand applications each cycle.  Individual admission counselors sometimes read fifty or sixty files a day!  For months!  And they don’t necessarily pluck students with the TOP grades and scores – because a computer could do that, and this is a personal process.  They choose students they like and who they can see contributing to their community.

So what does this mean to YOU, as you apply?  Here’s our ad...more

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  • college admissions
  • musical theatre
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Test-Optional College Admissions

Evelyn Jerome-Alexander, M.A., CEP Evelyn Jerome-Alexander, M.A., CEP
Posted at 4/3/2020

As things are moving quickly in the world of college admissions, we’re hearing a lot about colleges deciding to go test-optional, even if it’s just a temporary move.  What do colleges mean when they say they are test-optional, and who benefits from a test-optional admission process?

Why do colleges go test-optional?
Colleges decide to go test-optional for different reasons.  There are studies showing different data about what the SAT and ACT actually indicate, whether or not they correlate to students’ ability to succeed in college.  Additionally, some studies indicate that the tests discriminate against different types of students.   You may believe the tests show intelligence, and that a higher score means you’re smarter than someone who has a lower score, but that’s not necessarily how colleges interpret test scores.

When colleges announce a new test-optional policy, they may be attempting to level the playing field, to attract more students who don’t necessarily ...more

Categories: Application & Essay Guidance  |  Comprehensive College Guidance  |  Featured  |  Test Prep
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  • test optional
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