Recent Article Postings
Tips to Choosing the ‘Right’ Financial Literacy Curriculum
Today’s youth see what’s going on in the economy and do not want to repeat the mistakes of the baby boom generation. Many are personally experiencing the stress that financial issues bring in their home and the messages delivered by the media.
A growing number of people are ready to learn about money, and it’s up to community leaders to ensure they have access to quality financial literacy curriculum. By providing today’s youth practical financial training we can help them avoid debt issues, poor spending habits and help them recognize decisions that align with their lifestyle goals.
This generation stands to benefit from money management training. They are starting off with no financial issues and with the right financial literacy curriculum they have nowhere to go but up. Many schools have recognized this and are committed to sharing personal financial skills with their students either through workshops, classes, camps and/or with the help of financial literacy software to reduce faculty cost and maximize in class time.
One of the first things you want to check when reviewing personal finance curriculum is who actually designed it. A lot of the current lesson plans available on the market have been created by people who have minimal personal finance experience. Make sure that the lesson plans you decide to use have been designed by professionals who understand both the theory and practical application of good money management skills.
Locate motivational curriculum that gets students excited. When taught improperly or when using poor financial education lesson plans, it can also be quite boring and lose interest when it’s confusing. Finding life skill curriculum that’s friendly and accessible and easy-to-understand will directly impact your post test results. It is also suggested that all educators take a financial literacy certification course prior to presenting the curriculum.
Modular delivery of financial education lesson plans help participants build on new skill sets that can take them to the next level learning. Help your students stay engaged by challenging them with coursework that offers a modular learning platform so you know exactly what lessons to share as student’s progress.
In designing the curriculum for the YES Movie which featured leaders in the field of business, it was noted that the people who ‘win’ with money are the ones who make financial decisions based on logic rather than emotions. It is well known that most people make their decisions because of emotional responses, not logic. That is why it is critical that the financial literacy curriculum you choose covers the psychology of money.
It is important for participants to understand key theories in their financial literacy training, it is equally critical to select lesson plans that focus on the real world issues your students may experience while also including a theory based education. Financial literacy curriculum that strikes this balance better engages the students and helps them retain what is taught.
Students realize that paycheck to paycheck living is stressful and many of their parents are going through this situation now. Teach your students how they can avoid this situation by developing these basic skills and administering a financial literacy test to ensure they are picking up the lessons.
Right now is the time to start sharing practical financial education curriculum with the youth you serve. The lesson plans should be rigorous, relate to student situations and be ‘real’ so students internalize the message. By sharing this material it can help instill good money habits that can last a lifetime.
Even if your state does not require money management courses, take it upon yourself to raise awareness and educate your students, children and youth you meet. Just one simple lesson can save them from many years of struggle trying to remedy the situation.
Schools that wish to start teaching financial literacy are invited to join our awards program. Schools that purchase the NFEC financial literacy lesson plans are automatically entered into our awards program.
Financial Literacy Curriculum Learning Outcome & Standard Reasoning
Teaching financial literacy requires different methods and goals at each age level. This brief overview breaks downs the learning outcome reasoning the NFEC’s curriculum team uses through the development process.
The Framework & Standards for 3- to 7-year-olds were developed for children in the Preoperational phase of development according to Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development. During this phase children begin to use and understand language; they tend to experience the world from a selfish perspective where they only understand one feature of a situation or object.
The personal finance for kids big ideas & content standards for this age group are broken down by topic, subtopic, and skill level. ‘Beginner’ level is best-suited for PK to K, ‘Intermediate’ level for K to 1st grade, and ‘Advanced’ for 1st to 2nd graders. This design gives the instructor flexibility to assess and push participants to encourage higher levels of achievement.
The Framework & Standards for 7- to 11-year-olds were developed for children in the Concrete Operational phase of development according to Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development. During this phase children can use multiple dimensions of a problem or situation to reason about the world, as long as the situation is made concrete.
The big ideas and content standards for this age group are broken down by topic, subtopic, and skill level. ‘Beginner’ level is best-suited for 2nd to 3rd grade, ‘Intermediate’ level for 3rd to 4th grade, and ‘Advanced’ for 4th to 5th graders. This design gives the instructor flexibility to assess and push participants to encourage higher levels of achievement.
The Framework & Standards for 11- to 13-year-olds were developed for children in the Abstract Thought phase of development according to Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development. At this phase children begin to reason beyond concrete examples and begin to apply hypothetical, philosophical, and scientific principles to learning about the world.
The big ideas and content standards for this age group are broken down by topic, subtopic, and skill level. ‘Beginner’ level is best-suited for 5th to 6th grade, ‘Intermediate’ level for 6th to 7th grade, and ‘Advanced’ for 7th to 8th graders. This design gives the instructor flexibility to assess and push participants to encourage higher levels of achievement.
The NFEC asserts that high school students can and should learn advanced personal financial planning topics. Starting in high school, most students possess the cognitive abilities (according to Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development) and math skills needed for the majority of the financial literacy lessons. The learning outcomes for high school students and adults of all ages are the same and are broken down into beginner, intermediate, and advanced lessons.
The financial literacy curriculum for high school students blends project based learning techniques, blended learning options and interactive activities. The college student financial literacy curriculum leverages similar methods.
The adult financial literacy materials had to be expanded to include financial recovery lessons. Credit repair, paying off debt and recovering from a job layoff are all lessons that have been added to the adult curriculum.
It is important to note that, although the subject matter taught to teens and adults is similar, the NFEC’s Framework for Teaching Personal Finance highlights the importance of understanding the audience and modifying how lessons are taught to maximize their appeal to the targeted ages. The Framework also addresses the importance of providing a timely financial education – for example, reaching participants when they are considering specific financial decisions.
Financial Literacy Curriculum Today
by Traci Allan
Recent financial literacy statistics show that economic issues are affecting people globally, (foreclosures, debt, economic insecurity, etc.) it would have been easier to avoid if they would have received financial literacy lesson plans and training at a young age.
If we started teaching practical personal finance lesson plans in High Schools and in colleges while the children are in a learning environment they will tend to learn more from the curriculum. You can start sharing simple, yet impactful, money lessons at home with your children at a young age. This will help them be more financially responsible in the way they deal with everyday finances as well as long-term expenses. Instilling proper spending habits in your child is a very important part of preparing them for financial independence.
Many schools have started offering a financial education curriculum to their students to prepare them for college or going out into the working world and living on their own. These classes that have financial literacy lesson plans are usually given only in economics classes.
With the budget and economic problems today it is important that we provide youth with the knowledge they need to make it in the real world. Teaching personal finance can cause a change that will last a lifetime. How do you choose a financial literacy curriculum that students will actually enjoy studying and execute later? A lot of questions will be answered in this article.
Control groups have shown that when students receive below standard financial literacy lesson plans they report being uninterested, turned-off and lack the desire to learn more about money matters. The majority of teachers have good intentions when they begin teaching the financial education curriculum but unfortunately for some of the students it has the opposite effect due to the financial literacy lesson plans not being very exciting or just plain boring.
Do your best to ensure that the personal finance lesson taught will make a lasting difference in student’s lives. Choose a course outline that will keep the students engaged and motivated to learn more. Below are numerous tips to choose effective financial literacy lesson plans that will help your students gain the knowledge needed to be successful.
Review the background of the curriculum writers and designers since often time the standards are written by people that lack real world money and business experience. Make sure the financial education lesson plans you choose have been put together by a group of people who have experience in the money management field as well as the education field. Look for a program that is developed by a team of successful entrepreneurs and teachers who have a record of program development experience. Finding curriculum that combines top teachers with business leaders will put you in a good starting position to find the best financial literacy lesson plans.
The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) has reviewed hundreds of financial literacy lesson plans and talked to thousands of high school and college students who have been less than enthusiastic about ‘learning about money’ because they found that many of the financial literacy lesson plans on the market are boring and hard to understand. A well designed financial workshop can be a gratifying and pleasurable experience. A good test is to review the curriculum late at night and see if it passes the snooze test. If you fall asleep you can likely bet your students will as well.
Choosing a financial literacy curriculum that will make up the foundation of their education and that each subsequent lesson builds on the prior one will be most effective. This could also help your organization raise funds through financial literacy grants and financial literacy funding options.
Financial literacy lesson plans should include the psychology of money. Any successful person out there can tell you that the being able to recognize and understand the emotions involved with investing serves as a foundation for our financial decisions. It is also well documented that the average person makes most of their financial decisions because of emotional responses, not logic. That is why it is critical that the financial literacy curriculum you choose covers the emotional game of money.
The ultimate goal of life skills training is to help students reach the level of success they want. Implementing financial literacy curriculum that focuses on providing practical money lessons will not only keep students interested but will also put them on track to live the lifestyle they want for themselves.
Locate personal finance lesson plans that focus on practical financial matters your students will use in the real world before getting into advanced theories. Curriculum that walks students step-by-step through basic account structure and includes activities that helps to build their money foundation is probably your best bet. Since a large majority of Americans do not have any type of savings or checking account these financial literacy lesson plans will serves as the base of their education and will be a good starting point before learning the intricacies of the increasing complexity of the financial world.
By the time a student graduates high school many they have sat through thousands of classes with a limited amount of time spent on financial literacy lesson plans. That is why you need life skills training that will stand out from all the other thousands of classes they have taken. NFEC’s financial literacy curriculum engages the students with activities, multi-media displays, celebrities, movement, props and other tools to help our students pick up money skills so they benefit from this knowledge throughout their life.
In order to make the best use of your time get a curriculum designed to get students excited to learn about money. Practical financial literacy lesson plans can give your students a confidence that will have long-term positive benefits and affect many areas of their lives.