Financial Literacy Month provides us a wonderful opportunity to highlight the importance of Personal Finance Education! And, it offers a special chance to remind folks about why we do what we do. We offer professional development for teachers because it takes “on average, 20 separate instances of practice, before a teacher has mastered a new skill” (www.centerforpubliceducation, 2013 and Ermeling, 2010; Joyce and Showers, 1982). The difficulty for teachers lies not necessarily in learning new information, but rather in “implementing” these concepts into practice (www.centerforpubliceducation, 2016; Ermeling, 2010; Joyce and Showers, 1982).
What we do is to provide teachers with the financial literacy content and resources they need to feel both more confident in their knowledge and in implementing the standards in their classroom. The strategies and teaching resources we offer are designed to make it easier for educators to implement the financial literacy standards, and often, for elementary teachers especially, finding a way to work smarter, not harder, by teaching across the curriculum. In other words, by using trade books, both fiction, and non-fiction, to provide teachers the opportunity to hit the Maryland English Language Arts College and Career Ready Standards, while at the same time, teaching financial literacy content. For Middle and High School educators, we encourage you to check out not only our website, but also www.econedlink.org for all kinds of great financial literacy teaching resources.
It is important to note, according to the Corporation for Enterprise Development’s (cfed) Scorecard, that although Maryland is ranked #1 for financial literacy education policy, our state’s 2016 statistics place us 22 out of 50 states in terms of the data that correlates and supports “household financial security” and its “policy solutions” (cfed’s “Scorecard”, www.assetsandopportunity.org, 2016).
This shows that we still have considerable work to do to make sure that by the time that our students are adults that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to better position long-term financial well-being. Middle and High School teachers, consider using some of cfed’s infographics in your classroom for financial literacy month! (www.assetsandopportunity.org/scorecard/newsroom/media_resources/infographics/)
This month, teachers, we hope you will take this opportunity to dedicate at least a few hours a week to teaching about financial literacy. To make your job easier, feel free to visit our resource page on www.econed.org, and/or check out the Council on Economic Education’s (CEE) Financial Literacy Month Calendar which features a financial literacy lesson for every day in April (http://goo.gl/J1LR4u). CEE is also showcasing personal savings stories of people like fashion designer Elie Tahari, and national best-selling author Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and entrepreneur Rosie Pope for each day in April. Feel free to share them with your students. In fact, have the students create their own personal savings stories! To view the #savingstories, follow this link, www.facebook.com/councilforeconed/.
Teachers, send us some activities that you have planned for this month to celebrate Financial Literacy Month by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share them with other teachers on Twitter to help spread Financial Literacy Awareness! Also, consider registering for our Financial Literacy Summit scheduled to take place on June 28th, 2016, www.econed.org/events.
Center for Public Education, (2013). Teaching the Teachers, www.centerforpubliceducation.org. Retrieved on April 1, 2016, from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/teachingtheteachers