Essential Scholars II

Grant Details

Organization: Fraser Institute
Country: Canada
Project Name: Essential Scholars II

Funding Areas

Systems Change ✓
Teaching Freedom ✓

Essential Scholars is a public education project aimed at educating high school and university students – and young adults more broadly – about the main insights of the key thinkers in the classical liberal tradition. The project comprises 15 modules, each centered on a short book written in an accessible style by an acknowledged expert and supported by short animated videos (80 total) and links to other online resources. Some 200,000 copies of the books have been distributed, while the videos have been viewed over 3.7 million times.

The Essential Scholars II project is expanding both the extent of these learning resources (by adding audio versions of the books, creating podcasts, and developing lesson plans) and their reach (by training teachers and through promotional efforts in collaboration with independent think tank partners in Australia, the UK, and the US). The podcasts will explore the core ideas of the scholars and their relevance to modern day policy questions. The lesson plans will incorporate project material for use in high schools, and webinars will be held to instruct teachers in their use. The project website ( will be overhauled to add new resources and improve functionality for high school teachers wanting to include Essential Scholars materials in their classrooms.

Contribution to enhancing freedom

The ultimate goal is to achieve future systems change as students who have been introduced to the key ideas and leaders of classical liberalism enter the marketplace and become influencers themselves. Essential Scholars provides an attractive introduction for new as well as sympathetic audiences to the key ideas of liberty. The books themselves are excellent introductions to these ideas and the audio books will provide a new way for people to access them. The videos provide even easier access to the ideas of freedom and are easily adaptable for use in the classroom. Providing teachers with lesson plans that incorporate these resources and providing training will promote and enrich classroom learning about the ideas of freedom.

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