Domain 1: Planning and Preparation
Instructional planning includes a deep understanding of content and pedagogy and an understanding and appreciation of the participants and what they bring to the educational encounter. But understanding the content is not sufficient; the content must be transformed through instructional design into sequences of activities and exercises that make it accessible to participants.
All elements of the instructional design – learning activities, materials, and strategies –must be appropriate to both the content and the participants, and aligned with larger instructional goals. In their content and process, assessment techniques must also reflect the instructional outcomes and should serve to document participant progress during and at the end of a teaching episode. Furthermore, in designing assessment strategies, Financial Education Instructors must consider their use for formative purposes, and how assessments can provide diagnostic opportunities for participants to demonstrate their level of understanding during the instructional sequence, while there is still time to make adjustments.
1a: Demonstrating knowledge of the content and the pedagogy / andragogy of improving financial capabilities, financial psychology and supporting the development of positive financial habits.
1b: Demonstrating knowledge of participants’ cognitive abilities, willingness to change, motivating factors, and interests.
1c: Setting instructional outcomes and financial behavior objectives.
1d: Demonstrating knowledge of resources.
1e: Designing coherent instruction.
1f: Designing participant’s assessments.
Domain 2: Classroom Environment
Financial Education Instructors create a learning environment through positive interpersonal interactions, efficient routines and procedures, clear and consistent standards of conduct, and a safe physical environment that supports the learning purposes. In addition, the environment encourages participants to take pride in their work and to assume responsibility for their learning. Participants respond to the warmth and caring of Financial Education Instructors, their high expectations for achievement, and their commitment to participants. Participants feel safe with these Financial Education Instructors and know that they can count on the Financial Education
Instructors to be fair and, when necessary, compassionate. Participants are also sensitive to the subtle messages they receive from Financial Education Instructors as to their capabilities. The components of Domain 2 are not associated with the learning of any particular content; instead, they set the stage for all learning. The Financial Education Instructor establishes a comfortable and respectful classroom environment, which cultivates a culture for learning and creates a safe place for risk-taking. The atmosphere is businesslike, with non-instructional routines and procedures handled efficiently; participant behavior is cooperative and non-disruptive; and the physical environment conducive to learning.
2a: Creating an environment of respect and rapport.
2b: Establishing a culture for learning and application of financial principles.
2c: Managing classroom and/or technology-based procedures.
2d: Managing participant conduct to support learning process.
2e: Organizing physical and/or virtual space.
Domain 3: Instruction
Domain 3 contains the components that are at the essential heart of teaching – the actual engagement of participants in learning, through the vision of participants developing complex understanding and participating in a community of learners. Participants are engaged in meaningful work, which carries significance beyond the next test and is relevant to participants’ lives.
Financial Education Instructors who excel in Domain 3 have finely honed instructional skills. Their work in the classroom is fluid and flexible; they can shift easily from on approach to another when the situation demands it. They seamlessly incorporate ideas and concepts from other parts of the curriculum into their explanations and activities. Their questions probe participant thinking, and serve to extend understanding. They are attentive to different participants in the class, and the degree to which they are thoughtfully engaged; they carefully monitor participant understanding as they go (through well-designed questions or activities) and make minor mid-course corrections as needed. And above all, they promote the emergence of self-directed learners fully engaged in the work at hand.
3a: Communicating with participants about acquiring or changing financial behaviors.
3b: Using questioning and discussion techniques that promote positive financial behaviors.
3c: Engaging participants with relevant financial instruction.
3d: Using assessment in instruction to measure behavioral change.
3e: Demonstrating flexibility and responsiveness to participants’ learning needs.
Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities
The components in Domain 4 are associated with being a true professional Financial Education Instructor: they encompass the roles assumed outside of and in addition to those in the classroom with participants. Participants rarely observe these activities; parents and the larger community observe them only intermittently. But the activities are critical to preserving and enhancing the profession. Financial Education Instructors exercise some of them (for example, maintaining records and communicating with families) immediately upon entering the profession, since they are integral to their work with participants.
Domain 4 consists of a wide range of professional responsibilities that a Certified Financial Education Instructor must meet. From self-reflection and professional growth, to participation in a professional community, to contributions made to the profession as a whole. The components also include interactions with the families of participants, contacts with the larger community and advocacy for participants. Domain 4 captures the essence of professionalism by Financial Education Instructors; Financial Education Instructors are, as a result of their skills in this domain, full members of the teaching profession, and committed to its enhancement.
4a: Reflecting on teaching of financial capability.
4b: Maintaining accurate records of participants’ financial capabilities.
4c: Communicating with participant’s network to promote community financial wellness.
4d: Participating in professional inquiry focused on financial wellness.
4e: Growing and developing professionally.
4f: Showing professionalism as a qualified Financial Education Instructor.