Learning about money and finances is a skill that many people don’t often realize they need to know until it’s too late and they are already in financial trouble. Knowing how to budget, save, pay taxes, and manage loans can be daunting, but it also sets up young adults for success as they enter the workforce and begin their financial journey.
To aid in this process, more schools are teaching financial literacy classes as part of their curriculum, so students have access to important information that could guide them through life.
While investment in educational resources has benefits, there are pros and cons when discussing the importance of teaching financial literacy in schools nationwide – let’s explore them together!
What is Financial Literacy and why is it important to teach in schools?
Financial literacy is an important life skill that can help hugely shape someone’s future. It’s all about understanding and managing your money, from balancing your budget to investing in the stock market.
Being financially literate means being equipped to make sound decisions with your money and having the power to break away from debt and create a secure financial future for yourself. And with school-aged kids currently growing up during turbulent economic times, teaching them financial literacy early on and arming them with the skills they need to make informed finance-related decisions can have long-lasting positive effects on their lives.
Plus, it empowers kids with the knowledge that will help them stay out of precarious financial situations as adults, understand savings options and cost-benefit analyses. This means that teaching financial planning and literacy in our schools may very well be one of the most rewarding investments we can make for the next generation.
Pros of Teaching Financial Literacy in Schools
Teaching financial literacy in schools can significantly impact students’ lives! Through classes, activities, simulations, and more, students can learn essential financial skills that will benefit them even long after graduation.
Not only does this help make teens better prepared for their future finances, such as budgeting for college or understanding investments, but it also allows them to develop a network of support from peers and teachers which can serve positively in other areas of success.
Financial literacy classes foster an atmosphere of understanding the basics of money management and are perfect for preparing the upcoming generations for life beyond high school! Below are some more pros for personal finance education in school.
Enhances understanding of money management
One of the most critical life skills one can acquire is managing money. Knowing the basics of money management, like budgeting, saving, and investing, will help you maximize your earnings while minimizing expenses.
With knowledge in this area, you can understand how to maintain financial stability and plan for unexpected costs or crises, allowing you to make informed decisions about your current and future finances.
Money management will also provide an understanding of the value of purchases and investments in terms of their long-term effects on your financial picture. Understanding these concepts allows you to be a savvy consumer and make smart financial decisions when it comes to managing your finances.
Develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills
Developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills can be fun! Whether you try out a new strategy game, read an article,, then debate its ideas, or have conversations with loved ones to express your opinions, we can find enjoyable ways to build these critical cognitive abilities.
When I was in daycare as a child, we did a stock market challenge. We had to pick a stock we wanted to follow and look at the newspaper every day to see how the stock moved. We had fake money and had to either collect or give it away depending on how it moved. This exercise set me up for a lifelong love of finance.
These activities sharpen our minds and help us learn more about ourselves and how to best interact with the world. On top of that, we get deeper insights into how different people approach problems so that no matter what issue arises, we know where to start finding creative solutions.
Promotes long-term financial health
Teaching financial literacy in our schools is the perfect way to ensure students develop long-term financial health. With knowledge from money management classes, students can learn how to be smarter with their spending and increase their savings.
Plus, they’ll gain an understanding of investments and what it takes to create a bright economic future. Understanding basic finance concepts, like compound interest and the power of investing early on, can help students plan for their retirement or other major financial goals.
Having a firm grasp on these topics can also help reduce anxiety when making large decisions, such as taking out more student loan debt or buying a house.
Cons of Teaching Financial Literacy in Schools
Learning about personal finance is an integral part of maturing into adulthood, but unfortunately, teaching financial literacy in schools has its drawbacks. Since this topic often involves complex math and advanced concepts, it can become quickly over the head of some students who may not understand the topics being discussed.
Introducing new activities alongside traditional learning can also add extra pressure on teachers and slow class progress, meaning essential educational topics can be neglected.
Additionally, discussions about money can bring up sensitive personal issues for some students, which may not be handled properly. Personal finance education in schools is important, yet there are certain cons, such as those listed above and the ones we will dive into below.
Limited resources available for curriculum
One of the biggest challenges of providing financial education in school is finding adequate resources to use for the curriculum. Since this topic involves a lot of calculations and advanced concepts, it can be difficult to develop suitable material that will keep students engaged while providing accurate information.
The limited availability of tools such as calculators or online simulations also means that teachers have to rely on providing theoretical knowledge rather than practical experience.
Additionally, some students may not have access to the same financial resources as others, making it difficult to provide equitable education and ensure everyone taught in school can benefit from these lessons.
Challenges when teaching across different age groups
It may not be possible to have multiple teachers teaching the subject due to availability or having a deep enough understanding of personal finance. One teacher for personal finance instruction may have to service the entire school.
Teaching across various age groups can be a tricky and challenging task. You must consider the unique needs of each age group and tailor your teaching style to meet them.
Young children often have shorter attention spans, which means that lessons need to be kept engaging and active. At the same time, adolescents require a more complex approach with more complex discussions and activities.
As for older students, different tactics must be employed to help keep things exciting but also ensure the material is understood. Each age group comes with its own set of challenges, so teachers need to have different techniques up their sleeves to keep everyone engaged!
Teachers must be trained to keep up with the constantly evolving financial landscape
As technology continues to revolutionize the financial sector and make it easier for individuals to manage their money, the training materials that teachers use in the classroom must keep up.
This means more than just being able to explain new apps and services; instructors must be able to convey complicated concepts related to financial transactions and investments in a way that students can easily understand.
It requires frequent instruction for teachers on industry developments and trends so that they keep up with the quickly changing landscape of finance.
The goal: arming students with economic education and educational resources today so they can make smart decisions about their finances tomorrow.
Final Thoughts on the Value of Financial Literacy Education for Students
When it comes to teaching students the value of financial literacy, there is no end to the possibilities and importance of education. Learning to properly manage money, read essential documents, and think critically about long-term investments can be invaluable lessons in the classroom and in real-world situations.
With a better understanding of finance, students can make more informed decisions regarding their savings or applying for a credit card. These skills will last them throughout their lifetime and create a solid foundation for making smarter choices with money. Understanding and controlling one’s finances is essential for success – something we all strive for!
No doubt teaching financial literacy in our schools has its benefits. Not only does it enhance understanding and encourage critical thinking, but it also promotes long-term financial health for those who receive these lessons.
That said, teaching financial literacy is not without its challenges. Educators must always stay abreast of changes in the financial landscape, and resources can be limited when putting together a curriculum.
All this being said, I still believe we should teach students financial literacy to ensure they are on track to create healthier financial futures for themselves and their families.
Learning about finances doesn’t need to be boring; instead, embrace it with hands-on activities and simulations so that students come away with real-life skills that will help them now and in the future.
If you’d like to start teaching financial literacy courses within your school or organization, contact us today for more information!