Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy: Best way to do it, is to do it.

Sandy Wheat Financial Literacy: Best way to do it, is to do it. Ms. Sandy Wheat is the current Executive Director of the North Carolina Council on Economic Education.

 

Writing in a recent guest column in the Triangle Business Journal, Sandy Wheat quotes Amelia Earhart’s famous quip that “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”

Likely, Ms. Earhart was referring to aviation; however, as Ms. Wheat concludes in her op-ed the same principle holds true for financial education in her state of North Carolina as well as in the rest of the nation.

Read more…

POSTED: June 2, 2015 | BY: Jonathan Burch | TAGS: , , , , ,

Incorporating Economics in the Elementary School Curriculum

ohagan Incorporating Economics in the Elementary School CurriculumBy Kathleen O’Hagan, Special Representative at the UFT, Former 4th Grade Teacher, 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Teaching Champion Awardee

Today’s public schools are tasked with so much to teach that it isn’t surprising that many essential skills are over-looked with the current focus on reading and math scores and standardized tests. What is often missed in this narrow focus is the impact that these other essential skills can have on reading and math instruction. The curriculum in the elementary school where I taught was of both high rigor and high caliber but it neglected economics to concentrate on reading and math. With this in mind, I recognized the need to bring this subject to our students, the majority of whom were English Language Learners (ELLs) or former ELLs. After the economy was hit hard in 2008, I wanted my students to learn more about saving for their futures and the many long-term benefits, versus the costs, of college but I didn’t know how to bring this instruction into my elementary classroom.

OHagan in the Classroom1 300x167 Incorporating Economics in the Elementary School CurriculumThe Council for Economic Education showed me how to incorporate these ideas into my classroom. It began when I took their course on how to create a mini-economy. With this training, I was able to make our class a place where students learned (as part of their math curriculum) how to keep bank accounts, act as bankers and store clerks, open pencil-loaning businesses, and also experience the real-life issues of rent, tickets, co-payments, unexpected expenses and price inflation. Then in the next year, my next class moved beyond just being consumers in a mini-economy to being producers by utilizing a three-dimensional printer to create the store stock and in the process began to investigate the issues of supply and demand in their mini-economy. Imagine their excitement when they were featured in an article about their mini-economy, not just the first class, but two classes, two years in a row! Talk about underscoring the importance of the economics they were learning!

Not surprisingly, the students’ reaction to this instruction was enthusiastic and they were utterly engaged. What was surprising was the powerful response from the parents who were delighted to have their students learning economic vocabulary such as deposit, withdrawal, expenses, goods, consumer, etc. and the real-life experiences of keeping a financial log and having to learn about delayed gratification if they wanted to save up their money for larger purchases in the future.

In addition to all of this economic instruction, we eventually added the element of debate, around economic topics which included: “Should the Penny Stick Around?” and in so doing, incorporated elements of reading and writing. My students learned the importance of research, interviews, and public speaking in addition to developing an understanding of the need to save for the future, but not just any future, THEIR future. The mini-economy was a success at getting even the most reluctant student out of the sidelines of learning and into the heat of debate. For example, my most reluctant writer would always have his essay ready so that he could be on one side of the debate when it was time to start talking about economic issues.

The mini-economy even outgrew our classroom and spread to other classes on the grade, including inter-visitations for debates. Most importantly, it empowered the students to feel confident about making financial decisions, understanding the importance of saving, and it even made the most reticent students outspoken about the importance of economics in their life. Economics instruction ultimately became embedded in the very math and reading skills that originally seemed to have no room for anything more and in so doing, equipped my students with the traditional skills taught as well as essential economic skills.

POSTED: April 17, 2015 | BY: Annamarie Cerreta | TAGS: , , , , ,

Nothing is More Powerful than Teaching Financial Literacy

Darren Gurney Nothing is More Powerful than Teaching Financial Literacy By Darren Gurney, Economics Teacher, New Rochelle High School, New Rochelle, NY, 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Teaching Champion Awardee.

As an educator, nothing is more powerful than teaching financial literacy. Having taught a variety of social studies topics during the past 18 years as a teacher, I know that financial literacy is as valuable as any topic that students are exposed to in their schooling. Moreover, other than health education no subject is as “real world” applicable as exposing adolescents to personal financial issues.

DGURN 300x167 Nothing is More Powerful than Teaching Financial Literacy When students enter my classroom for the first time, it astonishes me how little they know about basic financial concepts. Balancing a checkbook, using credit cards, understanding mortgage rates, contributing to retirement accounts, stock/bond investing, using debit cards, opening savings accounts, applying for car loans, and other day-to-day financial areas are topics which students are not exposed to in their primary education. These are activities that all adults face in their daily lives. Why are children taught trigonometry, chemistry, and other concepts that are irrelevant to their existence? Perhaps our schools’ inability to evolve past our “liberal arts” educational goals or a dependence on our countries’ long standing subject areas, the content provided to our students and future citizens is nonsensical.

Why not create educational curriculums that focus on material which students of all educational abilities will utilize later in their lives? Schools should be focused on teaching skills, such as critical thinking, analytical, public speaking, writing, arithmetic, and communicating effectively with others (socialization). The content used to foster these skills is largely insignificant. But, in learning these skills it serves our nation best by introducing financial literacy concepts that our youth will deal with daily as they age and move through college and into their careers.

Most of all, students enjoy learning about financial literacy. Stock market investing competitions, studying entrepreneurs and small business topics, completing tax returns, studying mortgage rates and real estate prices, and analyzing state/federal taxation policies ultimately motivates students a great deal. Why should we force our children to battle through William Shakespeare’s writing or memorize terms like mitochondria or pi, when most Americans are financially illiterate? Maybe if we channel our energies in these areas, the typical US household will not be saddled with so much debt. In turn, our nation’s leaders may be able to do a better job of not growing our $17 trillion national debt.

POSTED: April 16, 2015 | BY: Jonathan Burch | TAGS: , , , ,

Financial Literacy Month Highlights

2014 financial literacy month Financial Literacy Month HighlightsApril is Financial Literacy Month, and it’s a great opportunity to reflect on both how far we’ve come, and what challenges remain in 2015. Over the past 12 months, four states—and counting—have adopted CEE’s National Standards for Financial Literacy. This follows a period of slow to no growth as shown in CEE’s 2014 Survey of the States, which found that a majority of states do not require that students receive education in economics or personal finance education. This increased momentum may signal that the tide has at last started to turn in the right direction.

For the next four weeks CEE and our affiliates will be conducting a full roster of events to shine a spotlight on the importance of economic and financial education.  Here are some of the highlights:

VP Financial Literacy Month HighlightsVantage Point: Real World Perspectives on the Economy
An insightful and engaging discussion with an esteemed panel of experts and leaders joined us for our second annual economic symposium. Featured speakers included Professor Greg Mankiw, who gave the keynote, and Esther George, President of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, with an Update from the Fed.

 

Higher One, Money Matters On Campus
CEO and President Nan J. Morrison participated on a panel conducted by Higher One, sharing the results of their Money Matters On Campus survey.

State Council Events
Meanwhile, our state council affiliates have been working diligently to promote financial literacy carrying out a host of activities: the Ohio Council for Economic Education welcomed Jeff Immelt, (CEO, General Electric) as keynote speaker at their 2015 Awards Luncheon; and in Rhode Island, students and guests including U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin and State Treasurer Seth Magaziner, kicked off the month with a “‘Financial Frenzy’ Forum.”

bedtime math e1428507502789 Financial Literacy Month HighlightsMoney Math Mondays
New this year we’ll be featuring Money Math Mondays throughout the month, a series of financial literacy-related math problems for parents and kids created by the founder of Bedtime Math.

 

CEE Blog Features Leaders Promoting Financial Literacy
We are excited to share perspectives from some of the leading voices in economics and personal finance. Guest bloggers include Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH), Richard Cordray (Director, CFPB), David Wessel (Director, Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Brookings), Raymond W. McDaniel, Jr. (President and CEO, Moody’s) and Kelli Grant (Consumer Reporter, CNBC.com). Be sure to tune in; we’ll be posting new articles every week!

 

 

POSTED: April 10, 2015 | BY: Annamarie Cerreta | TAGS: , , , , ,

CEE Report – Winter 2015

Three times a year the Council for Economic Education releases the CEE Report, highlighting our new and noteworthy events, programs and partnerships, including pilot programs and joint ventures with key supporters.

CEE REport Winter20151 CEE Report   Winter 2015

In This Issue

Upcoming Events
2014 Visionary Awards
Note from Nan
In the States: Colorado
Fulfilling the Mission: 2014 Highlights
2014 Update from Our State Councils
CEE Events and Activities
VP: Real World Perspectives on the Economy
2014 Donor Honor Roll
Board of Directors

POSTED: March 13, 2015 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , ,

2014 Visionary Awards Fireside Chat

The Council for Economic Education hosted its 9th Annual Visionary Awards dinner last October. The dinner is an annual celebration honoring leaders who promote economic and financial literacy to create a better-informed society.

The Visionary Awards Honorees were:

  • Richard G. Ketchum, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, FINRA;
  • Raymon W. McDaniel, Jr., President and Chief Executive officer, Moody’s Corporation;
  • Professor Christina D. Romer, Class of 1957 – Garff B. Wilson Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley;
  • David Wessel, Director of The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at The Brookings Institution and Contributing Correspondent to The Wall Street Journal.

Master of Ceremonies Steve Liesman, CNBC Senior Economics Reporter, led the night’s Fireside Chat covering such topics as the United States’ road to recovery, the broader role banks will have in the economy, and the public perception of President Obama’s handling of the economy.

POSTED: February 10, 2015 | BY: Jonathan Burch | TAGS: , , , , , ,

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