The Need for Quality in Financial Education

By Jackson, Carolyn W. | Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, Spring 2013 | Go to article overview

The Need for Quality in Financial Education


Jackson, Carolyn W., Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences


While mandates for financial education increase, educators lack preparation and self-perceived competence to teach personal finance. Hence, there is a keen need for professional development for educators in financial education. Consider the following:

* Public awareness of the need for financial education for youth and adults has grown in recent years. The availability of school-based and community-based education programs has increased.

* In public education, more than 80% of states across the nation have adopted some form of personal finance standards, guidelines, or instruction mandates.

* Research reported by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy indicates that fewer than 20% of teachers and prospective teachers report feeling very competent to teach personal finance.

* Less than 3% of K-12 teachers have taken coursework teaching the methodology of personal finance education, and only 37% have taken coursework relating to financial education topics.

* Research proliferates validating the disparity between the competence and confidence for delivering financial education and the role assignments individuals are given in the mounted national effort to increase financial literacy.

Exceptional leadership from the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) in the area of personal and family finance has resulted in recognition from thought leaders and government officials at the national, state, and local levels. For instance:

* The Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) is made up of representatives from 20 federal agencies addressing the coordination and advancement of efforts to improve financial capability in the nation. The Department of Treasury invited AAFCS to present to a Commission working group best practices information relative to the use of assessment and credentialing for students and professionals to promote the advancement of financial literacy. …

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