LEAF Network 

Teacher Professional Development Workshops

Professional Learning Communities

Attend our PLC meetings –  We’ll Pay for you to get there!

     Our Professional Learning Communities were designed with your unique professional development needs in mind.  LEAF is proud to announce a new program for teachers who want to network with colleagues across the state and share best practices.  Our new Preferred Teacher Program* will reimburse your travel costs to attend meetings held at one of our three Professional Learning Communities that meet once a month at these locations:

Framingham State University - Framingham:

This PLC is for economics teachers and meets on the first Saturday of the month.  

For more information, contact Rich DonnellyRichard_donnelly@bedford.k12.ma.us 
Middlesex Community College - Bedford:

This PLC is for personal finance, business or business-related teachers and meets on the second Saturday of the month.  

For more information, contact Lori Capra:  LCapra@haverhill-ps.org

AIER Corporate Headquarters, Great Barrington: This new PLC will be for both economics and personal finance teachers. 

Contact Rich or Lori to sign up today – spaces are limited!
*To qualify for the "preferred program" please check with Lori and Rich about the requirements for their group.

Big Business and Big Labor:
Teaching U.S. Economic History
January 25, 2016 - Omni Parker House - Suffolk University

   In this our second Gilded Age marked by international corporations and powerful labor unions, our students need to understand the fundamentals of the economic history of the United States and how we ascended from a collection of Atlantic coast colonies to the most financially dynamic country on earth.  The January 25 program included authorities on this topic and was offered in conjunction with the Pioneer Institute’s morning session that featured the following speakers: 



T.J. Stiles, Author, The First Tycoon:  The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

Philip Dray, Author, There Is Power in a Union:  The Epic Story of Labor in America


Roundtable Panel Discussion:

David Nasaw, Author, The Patriarch: Life and Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, 

The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst, and Andrew Carnegie

Kerry Dunn, Director of History & Social Studies, Boston Public Schools

Maury Klein, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Rhode Island and author of

15 books on American business and economic history.

Miriam Pawel, author of The Crusades of Cesar Chavez

James Sunderland, teacher, Modern U.S. History and Foundations of America, Bedford High School.


  The event was cosponsored by the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators, The Concord Review, We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies, the Massachusetts Historical Society and The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.


   The afternoon session featured presentations on economic history by Richard Donnelly and a discussion on Progressive Reforms in an Age of Big Business using proprietary classroom material developed by Kevin O’Reilly, retired teacher, Hamilton-Wenham High School, and Jim Sunderland. Professional Development Points (PDPs) were awarded qualified educators.

A.P. Economics - Teachers Talk to Teachers
June 9, 2015 - Framingham State University

      This full-day program on teaching Advanced Placement Economics addressed effective ways of teaching content and included hints on how to better prepare students for the AP Economics exams. While the general focus of the workshop was on the AP level, the workshop was applicable to all high school educators who teach economics.  The program format was designed to facilitate discussions and participants were encouraged to share samples of their teaching material.

Teaching the Great Depression:  Connecting the History with the Economics 
March 9, 2015 - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

    Did the New Deal help end the Great Depression, or did it actually slow economic recovery and usher in a

period of unprecedented government intervention in the free market?  The Great Depression was one of the most important events in the economic history of the United States and the history of economics.  It resulted in the creation of many policies that guide the modern US economy as well as the study of macroeconomics.  More importantly, the recent economic crisis has caused a rethinking of the Great Depression by economists, historians, and policymakers giving new life to the wide-ranging debate.

    This full-day professional development program focused on the intersection of economics and history with the goal of providing a better understanding of the economics Great Depression from an economic standpoint for history teachers and a context for understanding the development of macroeconomics for economics teachers.

    The morning featured presentations by Richard Donnelly, Bedford High School, and Kevin O’Reilly, formerly from Hamilton-Wenham High School.  Albert Barnor from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston discussed resources available from the Federal Reserve.

     In partnership with the Pioneer Institute, the lunch featured a special presentation by Amity Shlaes, author of the New York Times Bestseller:  The Forgotten Man – A New History of the Great Depression.   This book challenges many of the arguments about the role of Roosevelt and the New Deal in resolving the economic crisis during that time.   Recently, Amity Shlaes worked with Paul Rivoche to publish The Forgotten Man Graphic, a full-length illustration version of the book that could provide a new way for students to access the history of the Great Depression.

Behaviorial Economics - Part 2
October 10, 2014 - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

   David Laibson was the keynote speaker for the October 10 workshop, Behavioral Economics, Part 2.  Professor Laibson is the Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics at Harvard University and one of the best-known authorities in the field.     His presentation highlighted Psychology and Economics as well as a comparison of and the similarities with mainstream economists.  He reviewed several interesting experiments that focused on the study of intertemporal choice and present bias that gives immediate events full weight and discounts subsequent events.  Professor Laibson discussed the issues associated with “opt-in enrollment” for 401(k) plans and procrastination.   You can see him being interviewed on the Nightly Business Report and also his TED Talk.  

   Teachers who attended the workshop received copies of the just completed microeconomics section from Professor Laibson’s new Principles textbook.  In addition, participants received Jack Bogle’s:  The Little Book of Common Sense Investing from the program sponsor, TFC Financial.  This book provided the perfect resource for the afternoon session on demystifying mutual funds led by Richard Donnelly.


David Laibson

David Laibson

Behavioral Economics - Part 1
June 4, 2014 - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Gayle Buff

Gayle Buff

   Behavioral economics is a hot topic.  However many teachers struggle with effective ways to incorporate these concepts into their classrooms.  This program explored the developments in the field, how behavioral economics challenges traditional economic thinking, and provided suggestions from veteran teachers about ways to include concepts in economics and personal finance classes.  The workshop featured two keynote speakers:  Gayle Buff and Jodi Beggs.
   Gayle Buff is founder and president of Buff Capital Management, a Boston-based investment advisory firm.  She holds the designation of Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).  Over the past 15 years, she has taught finance and business at various local colleges and regional Universities and, is a frequent speaker at CFA and other conferences on the subject of the psychology of investing including:  Investor Psychology:  A Tale of Two Hemispheres.

   Jodi Beggs is a lecturer at Northeastern University, where she teaches graduate courses in macroeconomic theory and behavioral economics. In the past, she has spent the academic year working for Ec10, which is the introductory undergraduate economics course at Harvard University, and summers teaching midcareer masters degree students at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  She is a Ph.D. candidate in Business Economics at Harvard University, where she has a masters degree in Economics. As an undergraduate, she studied computer science and mathematics at MIT where she also received a master’s degree.

Jodi Beggs