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Integrating financial capability into the school curriculum

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Robyn Scott (Education Manager, Commission for Financial Capability) and Pushpa Wood (Director Financial Education and Research Centre, Massey University) share their views on how and why financial capability should be taught at all levels across the curriculum. If young people come out of school with a better understanding of how money works, how to interact with it, how to use it, and how to work with it, they will have a better chance of setting themselves up for life.

Professional learning conversations

These questions and suggested actions encourage you to reflect on your own school context.

In this interview, Pushpa Wood states that:

"Our educators need to be equipped. They need to be equipped with resources, they need to be equipped with how to integrate that. If we are expecting our teachers to embed financial capability into their curriculum, we need to provide them with support, we need to provide them with guidance, we need to provide them with tools, we need to provide them resources and that they feel comfortable, confident, and motivated to actually introduce it in the classroom."

Consider this statement in your own school context. As a school, where are you at now? How could you get to a place where your school environment effectively supports the teaching of financial capability? 

Have you seen ...

Financial capability support section
Developing financial capability is highlighted in The New Zealand Curriculum as a theme that schools could use for effective cross-curricular teaching and learning. This resource contains support materials and examples, to help integrate financial capability into your school curriculum.

Transcript

Robyn Scott

Financial capability should be taught at all levels across the curriculum with really great age appropriate examples. So small children in early childhood can be interacting with money in a way that’s age appropriate and relevant to them in the same way that students who are 16 and 17 and perhaps 18 can be interacting with the subject in a different way but in an age appropriate way, and in a range of subjects. Financial capability is not only a maths subject or an economics subject. We know that financial behaviour is affected by a whole range of things, and certainly numeracy is one of those things but it’s not the only one. It’s a really practical concept for many students and particularly students who perhaps struggle to grasp really abstract concepts. Money is a very concrete concept and then the financial world that we live in is a great context for older students when they start thinking about credit and debt, and compound interest, and some of the financial tools that are used. We would definitely want to see young people involved in learning that sets themselves up for life. We know that experiential learning is definitely important for people to learn. Certainly we think that if young people come out of school with a better understanding of how money works, and how to interact with it, and how to use it, and how to work with it in a way, they will have a better chance of setting themselves up for life. It’s a subject that we need to start surfacing more often so that people can have more open conversations about it, and so that our young people are really much better equipped for the world that they are moving into.

Pushpa Wood

Our educators need to be equipped. They need to be equipped with resources, they need to be equipped with how to integrate that. If we are expecting our teachers to embed financial capability into their curriculum, we need to provide them with support, we need to provide them with guidance, we need to provide them with tools, we need to provide them resources and that they feel comfortable, confident, and motivated to actually introduce it in the classroom.

Money has become integral part of our life, whether we like it or not it is there. Therefore I feel that you cannot really compartmentalise financial capability into one corner and say, right, one hour a week for the next ten weeks we will cover financial capability and then this lot will be financially capable. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that because money conversation goes at different layers and different directions and long term. It needs to be started, it needs to be reconfirmed, it needs to be revisited, and it needs to be continually revisited because what I understand as a five year old [that] money does for me is very different when I’m a 15 year old and again when I’m an 18 year old. So my relationship with money changes as I grow up, and therefore that need needs to be met in that growing manner. As educator I see the home of financial capability is within my classroom. Whatever age group I’m teaching and whatever topic I’m teaching.


Published on: 25 Nov 2013


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