A wealth of opportunity: leveraging the curriculum to build financial capability

Issue: Volume 95, Number 15

Posted: 22 August 2016
Reference #: 1H9d3k

Financial skills are important for a secure and satisfying life, but it’s never too early to learn to manage one’s money. The Ministry of Education and Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) are once again encouraging schools to harness the flexibility of The New Zealand Curriculum to teach financial capability.

Teaching financial capability is all about strengthening people’s knowledge so they can make better-informed financial decisions throughout their lives.

The National Strategy for Financial Capability is a government initiative aimed at improving the financial skills of all New Zealanders.

This initiative is made up of five components:

  • Talk: fostering a cultural change where it’s easy to talk about money
  • Learn: effective lifelong learning of financial concepts
  • Plan: everyone is prepared for the unexpected
  • Debt-smart: people manage debt to their advantage
  • Save/invest: people learn to save and invest in the short, medium and long term.

The Ministry of Education and the CFFC are encouraging teachers to explore financial capability with their students.

Money Week takes place this year from 5-11 September, and aims to get New Zealanders talking and thinking about their finances.

This nationwide event features a range of learning resources and events, from classroom exercises to workplace and community initiatives. Find more information about these on the Money Week website: www.moneyweek.org.nz/moneyweek/resources.

Money Week offers schools a good opportunity to investigate financial concepts in the classroom.

This year, the Ministry of Education is encouraging schools to reflect on the financial capability learning opportunities inherent in The New Zealand Curriculum.

A Broad Curriculum

The vision of The New Zealand Curriculum is to create confident and connected lifelong learners.

Its framework of key competencies, principles and values allows schools to explore rich learning opportunities for topics such as financial capability, in a way that is meaningful to students.

With the overarching goal of developing the values, knowledge and competencies to enable full and satisfying lives, schools are encouraged to design their curriculum so that learning areas are strongly linked.

It’s unlikely that financial capability learning opportunities will be confined to a single subject or learning area, but rather will draw on knowledge and skills acquired across several learning areas, notably mathematics and the social sciences.

The New Zealand Curriculum doesn’t offer a detailed financial education journey, ready to be followed step-by-step.

Rather, its principles put students at the centre of all the teaching and learning that takes place at school, engaging and challenging them.

Because an individual’s needs differ significantly from community to community and from whānau to whānau, it’s important that our national curriculum sets our students up to think critically and creatively.

Getting Started

A natural starting point is to talk to your students about money.

It’s important that financial issues become a comfortable topic of conversation, and that people can talk openly about money with their partner, whānau and friends.

A cultural shift where it’s easier to talk about our finances will in turn pave the way for people to confidently talk with providers and institutions about their financial matters.

In the classroom, find out students’ longer term interests and aspirations for life, and how your school and classroom curriculums can help them achieve these financial and life goals. There may already be links in your current planning.

A student’s whānau and community are crucial factors in how financially capable they will eventually become. While the education system can provide equitable financial capability skills, the role of whānau should also be considered to provide students the best chances to build their financial capabilities.

Students are more likely to have meaningful learning experiences when their classroom learning is complementary, rather than at odds, with their learning at home and in their wider community.

Further Reading And Resources

  • The New Zealand Curriculum TKI Financial Capability online portal, including Financial Capability Learning Progressions which suggest NZC learning outcomes across a range of learning areas and curriculum levels can be found on the TKI website.(external link)

  • The Ministry presently funds PLD opportunities for Financial Capability. Details on workshops in the South Island can be found on the Ed Plus section of the University of Canterbury website.(external link)

  • NZQA Personal Financial Management unit standards that can contribute to NCEA qualifications can be found on the NZQA website.(external link)

For workshops in Auckland and Northland, email Dallas Graham at dgraham@cognitioneducation.com.

For the rest of the North Island, email Janine Mackay at jmackay@waikato.ac.nz

The following articles about financial capability education have appeared in Education Gazette: The financial pulse of the nation, Creating financially capable New Zealand students, and Setting up for security

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 3:16 pm, 22 August 2016

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