The new Ministry Document “A Sound Investment: Financial Literacy Education in Ontario Schools” provides a rationale to support integration of financial literacy into all subject areas, Grades 4-12.
The Working Group behind the document asked stakeholders “Why is it important for Ontario students to be financially literate”. The answers were:
- to make more informed choices in a complex and fast-changing world
- financial literacy education provides a critical set of lifelong skills
- financial literacy can improve prospects for the success of the child
- financial literacy contributes to the development of knowledgeable, compassionate citizens
The Key Findings from these discussions are:
- financial literacy’s role in supporting student success and addressing social inequities.
- the need to focus on core content and competencies (e.g. the concepts of income, money, saving, spending, etc, how the financial system works, and how to plan for life after school.)
- supporting teachers in the classroom
- establishing ways to measure progress,
- engaging the community stakeholders
- establishing leadership for the initiative
- The need to optimize technology in support of financial literacy education
The document states that this can include simulations, assessment tools, and related resources, blogs and websites linked to consumer education media. I would add the importance of media literacy, website analysis and marketing awareness, collaborative inquiry using Cloud Computing, and real-world, project-based learning (e.g. fundraising for schoolyard greening initiatives, choosing the best method, consulting with the city, etc). Our students are being bombarded with massive amounts of alluring ways to spend their and their parents’ money and financial literacy offers comprehensive and relevant ways to engage the students in the context of their digital and social world.
My next few blogs will cover some of the tools and concepts needed for all teachers to understand and integrate Financial Literacy into the curriculum.
It only makes common Cent$.