Financial Literacy

Post Campaign Round Up: #MySavingsStory

 

Natalie Zfat Headshot 1 300x300 Post Campaign Round Up: #MySavingsStoryLast month was Financial Literacy Month and we teamed up with social media entrepreneur, Natalie Zfat on the #MySavingsStory video campaign.

Throughout the entire month of April, we shared personal video stories from writers, artists and economists to inform and inspire kids to understand and take control of their financial lives.

We received savings advice from fashion designer Elie Tahari, best-selling author of Diary of A Wimpy KidJeff Kinney, entrepreneur Rosie Pope, President of the Richmond Fed, Jeffrey Lacker and others who shared what they’ve learned about the importance of financial literacy and saving.

Read Natalie’s post about the campaign and make sure to check out the compilation video with all the great advice!

POSTED: May 13, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , , , , ,

Graduating From Test Scores to Credit Scores

DSC6347Brian Page 8x10 hi res for print 150x150 Graduating From Test Scores to Credit Scores

Written by: Brian Page, Chair, Council for Economic Education Teacher Advisory Council

Later this spring, high schools across the country will be graduating students from a world of test scores to a world of credit scores. Many teens will unknowingly be making decisions that will impact them in the decade to come. Yet most lawmakers have fallen short of respecting personal finance as a dedicated subject worthy of stand alone classes required for graduation, taught by teachers trained to teach it well. It’s time we work together to advocate on behalf of high school students to prepare them for the real world.

High school science, math and language arts teachers receive content specific instruction in college, and are required to pass content specific tests to earn teacher certification. Personal finance… not so much. Often times when mandates are passed, they require the integration of personal finance into other coursework. The mandate is often dumped into the laps of teachers who have never been trained to teach personal finance.

A FINRA Investor Education Foundation-funded study, State Financial Education Mandates: It’s All in the Implementation, examined the effectiveness of state mandates on financial education for high-school students. The study noted that if a rigorous financial education program is carefully implemented, it can improve the credit scores and lower the probability of credit delinquency for young adults. In other words, we need to train our teachers, require semester courses devoted to personal finance, and use hands on teaching methods that focus on relevant content.

NCLB aside, our country has historically been a locally controlled education system. This changed following the financial collapse in 2008. Somehow a banking collapse led to education “reform”, and schools were faced with a multitude of new evaluation systems and testing requirements. Subsequently, schools and lawmakers now seem to lack the appetite to pass further education mandates. This should not preclude us from trying, using a common sense approach that does not further burden our schools. I’m confident that if asked, parents and teens would be much happier about recent reform efforts if standardized test scores were a little less important, and helping them build their own credit scores were a little more important.

POSTED: April 7, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , ,

Personal Finance Is A Lot Like Relationships

 

Matt Gherman photo Personal Finance Is A Lot Like RelationshipsWritten by: Matthew Gherman 11/12th Grade Teacher of AP Economics, American History, ELL Global History at Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn, NY. Matthew received the 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Teaching Champion Award.

 

Personal finance is a lot like relationships. They’re both taboo subjects in which everyone professes their advice and expertise, but in reality each is a very imprecise science. For high school students, these two topics are numbers one and two in terms of their curiosity (personal finance is probably a distant, but strong, second place). The curiosity and eagerness that surround this topic are what makes it fun to teach.  Students are familiar with many of the terms: interest rates, stocks, bonds, checking account, credit cards, credit score; yet there is so much room for exploration and enlightenment. For both finance and relationships there is wisdom that would be helpful to know at the age of 18, but is only earned from life experience. Therefore, the best approach to teaching the subject incorporates knowledge learned by trial and error, paving the road for the next generation.

Also at the age of 18, these are topics that might seem far away, but really they are much closer and include situations that students need to be ready for.  Students need to understand that their credit score is their life GPA, and they need to start building it now and learning how to build it now.  At 18, they can open up an investment account and learn how to begin to grow their money at a rate faster than a savings account. They need to begin building that big savings for important purchases that will all possibly come within a decade: college, car, apartment, engagement ring, marriage, home and children.  Many of these are concepts that they probably shrug at as “not my problem now,” but that decade goes by fast, and with it a lot of missed opportunity to improve their futures. The savings and investing which will make each stage of their lives easier starts at 18 (or even earlier) and the teacher is the provider of all of this information. The questions and enthusiasm that they bring to class enhance the teaching experience exponentially.

The ease with which these topics can be differentiated is also a great selling point for teaching it. Depending on student strengths, your lessons can range from just reviewing the basics to dissecting and debating scholarly articles and evaluating political implications. There is also opportunity for independent research, web-quests and presentation projects which add a different flavor to the class.  Additionally, teachers aren’t limited by being shackled to a state test at the end of the year. This subject allows creativity for both teachers and students.

Personal finance is strongly connected to the civic responsibility of voting. So many times politics is reduced to sound bites, preying on an uneducated class of voters. There are many social political issues that are shades of gray and fun to debate, but ultimately, the questions all students should have on their minds are what does the government do with our money and what are the implications of government actions on our wages, healthcare, investments, mortgages, and income taxes. Teaching personal finance creates a better informed and responsible citizenry.

The most important aspect of teaching personal finance is that these are life skills. This is the most useful course that students will take in high school because it will help them to be college ready, career ready, and life ready.

POSTED: April 5, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , , , ,

CEE Teams Up with BloomBoard

“There are so many resources out there on how to teach and what materials to use. How do I narrow it down to get the best of what I need?”

 

If these thoughts resonate with you, then you definitely have to bookmark BloomBoard.  The educators at BloomBoard know that curation of relevant content is one of the most valuable services one can offer on the Internet.

Starting this month, BloomBoard has invited the Council for Economic Education (CEE) along with other experienced educators to create Collections of resources targeted to specific teaching objectives. As the leader of a national movement to bring economics education and financial literacy to every child, we know how to tackle the challenges involved in teaching these subjects to children in grades K-12.

For our debut Collection on BloomBoard, we decided to focus on teaching financial literacy to young learners in kindergarten through fifth grade. There’s good reason to start teaching finance early. Researchers have found that when elementary students study financial literacy, they develop more positive financial attitudes and behaviors such as saving that will continue throughout their lives.

Our Collection recommends teaching financial literacy with a wide range of resources including lesson plans, activities, songs, videos, professional development, and research.

Capture CEE Teams Up with BloomBoard

 

Here are some of the resources that we recommend in this Collection:

Getting Started: EconEdLinkJoin thousands of K-5 teachers successfully using these lessons to teach concepts such as the cost of choosing between “this and that” and how scarcity influences their world to young learners.

Kiddynomics: An Economics Curriculum for Young Learners Federal Reserve Bank of St LouisKiddynomics introduces young children to economic thinking with five lessons based on popular storybooks.

Playful Economics: Scarcity, EconEdLinkAward-winning 5th-grade teacher, Shanan Reigle, shows how she teaches scarcity in this instructional video. Students move from creating products with play dough to tweeting about their new understanding.

Creating a Classroom Economy Unit Plan by Beth Newingham, ScholasticStudents build a class economy replete with specific jobs, salaries, and currency. As class citizens, they must manage their money, using credits, debits, and checks.

Visitors to Bloomboard can save, share, and follow Collections. They will also be able to earn micro-credentials for their skills.

We would also like to introduce Buck Institute for Education (BIE) who posted the Collection, Gold Standard Project Based Learning: An Overview, on BloomBoard following ours. BIE creates, gathers, and shares high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL) instructional practices and products and provides highly effective services to teachers, schools, and districts.showing teachers how to use Project Based Learning in all grade levels and subject areas. Their comprehensive overview will help teachers get started with PBL.

We hope you will take a look at BIE’s Collection as well as others on BloomBoard. And, join us on BloomBoard in using and providing content that is relevant for our teachers today.

POSTED: February 17, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , , , ,

Effective Professional Development via CEE’s State Council and Centers

By: Marc A. JohnsonEducation Program Director, Colorado Council for Economic Education

Professional development (PD) for teachers has sometimes been characterized as unappreciated and ineffective. Those of us who have taught long enough can certainly recall mandated PD experiences that were less than engaging, uninspiring and downright tedious.

But it’s unfair to apply that broad brush to all PD. In our experience, both as recipients and deliverers of workshops and seminars from our respective state councils for economic education, PD can be stimulating and rewarding for teachers and have a strong chance of leading to greater student achievement.

Among the deliverers of PD in economics and/or personal finance, state councils and centers seem to be best suited to provide the best opportunities for teachers. The model varies from state to state, but there are commonalities. Most can boast a stable of credible academics whose guidance can be relied on by teachers – they can take this stuff back into their classrooms with great confidence in the integrity of the message. Second, most workshops help teachers with the pedagogy. Classes/workshops are generally infused with exemplary demonstrations of methods – often by mentor teachers who show us the best ways to teach this stuff to kids. Finally, most PD from state councils and centers includes excellent resources, often provided from the vast library of carefully developed and well-vetted lessons from the national Council for Economic Education.

It’s this three-tiered construction of PD – expertise, pedagogy and resources – that make targeted, customized PD by centers and councils for economic education well worth their while. Individual teachers, departments, schools and school districts would be well-advised to seek out their state councils/centers and explore the possibilities of participating in high quality, efficacious PD in economics and/or personal finance.

To learn more about your local state councils/centers visit: http://councilforeconed.org/resources/local-affiliates

 

POSTED: February 10, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , ,

CEE Report – Winter 2016

Winter CEE Report Cover CEE Report   Winter 2016In This Issue:

2015 Visionary Awards: A Record-Breaking Year!
Note from Nan
Focus on the Mississippi Council on Economic Education
2015 Accomplishments
54th Annual Financial Literacy and Economic Education Conference
2016 Survey of the States Released
Over 100 Video-Entries for CEE’s Video Contest
An Innovative Digital Assessment Tool to Track Students’ Progress
Integrating Math and Real World Concepts to Hook Kids
2015 Donor Honor Roll

POSTED: February 4, 2016 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , , , , ,

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