Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke addressed the nation this week through his “Conversation with the Chairman: A Teacher Town Hall Meeting” live video conference.
The subject? Financial literacy.
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the growing concern continues to be how we as a nation will teach our children the importance of financial literacy so they do not make the same mistakes. Chairman Bernanke opened the town hall with a brief speech where he gave credit to the Council for Economic Education’s National Standards for Personal Finance (to be released later this year) by saying “To provide the most effective education, curriculums should also have clear standards and goals…The five core competencies are reflected in the National Standards for Personal Finance being developed by the Council for Economic Education; several of our Federal Reserve System colleagues are working with the Council on this project.”
Chairman Bernanke graciously took questions from economics and personal finance educators who gathered at each of the Federal Reserve banks across the country. Educators asked questions covering the gamut of topics, from which current events should be taught in the classroom to how to prevent the next financial crisis.
The Chairman’s responses were coincidentally much aligned to the work we do at CEE. He recommended games and simulations as one of the best ways to teach young students about personal finance. CEE’s own Gen i Revolution is a free, online personal finance game that teaches high school students the basics of personal finance, including creating budgets, basic investing and how to use credit wisely.
Teachers understand the importance of drawing on real-world scenarios to teach their students in the classroom. Chairman Bernanke addressed the question from a teacher of which current events should be taught in the classroom. There is no definite answer to which specific events, but any current news items make for good classroom fodder. EconEdLink, CEE’s free classroom resources for K-12 teachers of economics and personal finance, provides access to the latest economic news and information and related lesson plans in Teaching the News.
CEE convened our own panel of educators to watch the Chairman’s address, and we continued the conversation after the town hall ended.
Dawn Shum, an elementary teacher in New York, reiterated the importance of personal finance in the classroom and at home by saying, “We need to educate elementary students beyond identifying quarters and dimes.”
We couldn’t agree more.
CEE thanks the Chairman and the Federal Reserve for bringing attention to the importance of financial literacy, and for taking questions from our nation’s educators who work tirelessly to teach these life skills to future generations.
View Chairman Bernanke’s address here. Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.