Economics in 31 Hours Wins 2016 Templeton Freedom Award

New York, 11 November 2016, – the Lithuanian Free Market Institute’s textbook Economics in 31 Hours receives a prestigious $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award for giving the young generation of Lithuania a chance to learn how property rights, free exchange, profit and competition shape decisions and actions in our everyday lives.

“The importance of economic thinking cannot be underestimated. Our individual and societal well-being depends on it. Unfortunately, economic education in schools is shallow at best, and incorrect at worst. Our aspiration is to win the battle for freedom of young minds. We are happy we have accomplished so much in pursuing this goal in an area where free-market ideas normally are not heard, in public schools and within the national school curriculum,” said LFMI President Žilvinas Šilėnas when accepting the Award in Manhattan’s legendary Capitale in New York City.

Released in August 2015, Economics in 31 Hours is already used as part of the compulsory national curriculum by 64 percent of Lithuania’s 9th and 10th graders. This amounts to more than 20,000 students in 398 schools across Lithuania. Economics in 31 Hours comes in a package of a modern textbook, a comprehensive online teacher’s manual and a continuous professional development course for teachers of economics. These materials develop among the young generation an understanding of free enterprise and free exchange as key to advancing prosperity, innovation, and human fulfillment; they shape the way both students and teachers understand economics as an integral and inherent part of a complex social reality.

“LFMI’s ability to immerse nearly an entire country’s young people in sound economic ideas represents an investment that is sure to bear immeasurable fruit both now and long into the future”, said Brad Lips, CEO of Atlas Network during the awarding ceremony.

Today, over 240 teachers use the extensive online teacher’s manual to prepare and deliver engaging practical classes of economics. They are unanimous about the quality that the textbook brings to classroom activities. Real-life examples, rich video materials, games,  fascinating facts and an engaging format motivate students and increase their engagement in the inquiry into economic phenomena, critical thinking and problem solving. This is what makes Economics in 31 Hours so special.

“This prestigious award and a wide recognition among teachers, students and leading educologists prove that Economics in 31 Hours has truly transformed the way of teaching and learning economics in Lithuania and we are heading in the right direction,” Marija Vyšniauskaitė, Head of LFMI’s Education Centre and co-author of the textbook, said.

Today, receiving this prestigious Award for the second time, LFMI becomes the first think tank to ever win the Templeton Freedom Award twice. In 2014 the Lithuanian Free Market Institute received the Templeton Freedom Award for its Lithuanian Municipal Performance Index.

Awarded by Atlas Network and generously supported by the Templeton Religion Trust, the Templeton Freedom Award recognizes the most exceptional and innovative contributions to the understanding of free enterprise, and the public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation and human fulfillment via free competition.

Read more about the Templeton Freedom Award and this year’s finalists.