In our last post, Shocking Facts on Financial Literacy, we discussed that most school curricula require the basics of literacy needed for life skills, but fail to include a basic education of financial fundamentals that are also necessary in life. Although this type of financial instruction is not common, The Council for Economic Education (CCE), a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding its outreach on financial literacy, has developed measures to help bridge the gap.
During April, which is considered Financial Literacy Month, CCE plans deliver a financial curriculum to each state that includes milestones that should be understood by children and young adults at the end of grades 4, 8 and 12. The curriculum is divided into six categories:
- Earning income – This includes collecting rent, stock dividends and interest on bonds. It also includes a discussion of the labor market and how education may lead to higher wages.
- Buying goods and services – This includes planning, comparing, budgeting and making choices.
- Saving – This includes near- and long-term goals and how time, interest rates and inflation affect savings.
- Using credit – This includes borrowing options and how credit history helps determine availability of credit and the rate of interest that you pay.
- Investing – This includes risk, rates of return and diversification.
- Protecting and insuring – This includes potential loss of health, assets, income and identity, and how behavior affects the cost of insurance.
Results from the Teachers’ Background & Capacity to Teach Personal Finance study revealed that 89% of K-12 teachers should take financial courses, yet many teachers believe they are not prepared to teach financial subjects and topics. CCE’s nationwide reach includes 55,000 teachers trained in financial concepts in 2012 with an active presence in 45 states. According to their website, “The CCE delivers economic education and financial literacy to K-12 students by educating the educators.” For more information, please visit their website at http://www.councilforeconed.org/.