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How do you build teacher capability?


Committed leadership is key to supporting teachers to plan and provide effective programmes around financial capability. Building teacher knowledge and capability so that they understand and see the value of this context for learning is an important step. Teachers need to understand:

  • why developing financial capability is important for students
  • different approaches to integrating financial capability into their classroom programme
  • how to use the financial capability progressions for planning and assessment.

Teaching as inquiry is a useful methodology to inquire into different aspects of the teaching-learning relationship in the context of integrating financial capability into the classroom curriculum. This can include exploring values and key competencies in relation to financial capability, integrating financial capability into learning areas, using authentic contexts for learning, and building connections with the community.

Providing regular opportunities for teachers to share and reflect on what they are doing in their classroom contributes to building a shared understanding of financial capability and successful approaches to teaching across the school.

Use these discussion tools with your school leadership team to support developing your approach to building teacher capability.

Discussion tools

Planning your approach to building teacher capability

Read about Mangere Central School’s approach to professional development.

Look at the Personal finance education survey – teachers (WORD 124KB) they used.


Use these questions, links, and resources to discuss and plan your approach to building teacher capability.

1. Who will lead this area in your school?

2. How can you develop and ensure a shared understanding of the following:

Introducing financial capability to teachers

Financial capability in your classroom PPT.

This PowerPoint presentation has been developed for school leaders or teachers leading financial capability programmes to use with staff for professional development. The PowerPoint introduces and explores the nature of financial capability and ways of integrating it into the classroom programme. The slide show is broken into three sessions.

It can be downloaded and edited as required for staff meetings. It is designed to be used in conjunction with some of the discussion tools.

PowerPoint icon. Financial capability in your classroom (PowerPoint, 68 MB)

Teaching as inquiry into financial capability

Using a teaching as inquiry approach, teachers identify the relevant financial capability outcomes for their students/ākonga, strategies to support students/ākonga to achieve these outcomes, and inclusive approaches for engaging and teaching. The success of the approach is identified and reflected upon with regard to student learning outcomes.

Teaching as inquiry involves three inquiries: focusing, teaching, and learning.

Teaching as inquiry.

Focusing inquiry

The focusing inquiry is about establishing what matters most. The key question that guides a focusing inquiry is “What is important (and therefore worth spending time on), given where my students/ākonga are at?” It establishes both a baseline and a direction. The baseline and direction can be based on information about students’ financial capability knowledge as it sits within a curriculum learning area. Developing students’ financial capabilities in the key competencies or understanding how values impact on financial decision-making can also be a focus.

Teaching inquiry

The teaching inquiry is about increasing the likelihood that teaching strategies will help students/ākonga to achieve the most important outcomes for them. The key question that guides a teaching inquiry is, “What strategies (evidence-based) are most likely to help my students/ākonga learn this?” The teacher uses evidence from research, their own practice, and that of colleagues to plan teaching and learning opportunities aimed at achieving the outcomes prioritised in the focusing inquiry. The evidence used to inform a teaching inquiry should emphasise financial capabilities – with evidence about how to improve knowledge or skills, and students’ application of ideas, participation, questioning, values, and motivation.

Learning inquiry

The learning inquiry is about investigating the success of teaching for important outcomes. The key question that guides a learning inquiry is, “What happened as a result of the teaching, and what are the implications for future teaching?” In a learning inquiry the teacher investigates the success of the teaching in terms of the prioritised outcomes, using a range of assessment approaches. A focus on financial capability in the learning inquiry suggests the importance of students/ākonga being actively involved in articulating what they learnt, how their learning is impacting on their financial decisions, and their experience of the teaching and learning. It requires attention to the success, or otherwise, of developing the financial capabilities taught, at the end of the learning process. This enables the teacher to be immediately responsive to supporting the development of financial capability.

Using outside agencies as a resource

Mangere Central School
Mangere School held a two hour workshop for students to learn about budgeting and saving with the support of their families. The workshop involved over 60 people, made up of students, staff, families and two key speakers (one from a local budgeting service and two from the ANZ bank).

The Young Enterprise Trust and several banks offer programmes or support for schools and workplaces. See the resources section for weblinks.

  • What agencies are available in your area?
  • What opportunities can you identify for connecting parents/whānau and local community agencies?

Published on: 01 Dec 2013