Also, each year, students leave Ontario high schools without any financial literacy course or minimal financial literacy knowledge.
It is a common question from students in all senior classes, "Why don't we learn more about personal finance"? I don't even think the students grasp the entirety of what personal finance is. Students are financially illiterate if they do not get the knowledge from home. There is so much more than just paying off credit card debt, or looking for your best interest rate options to save money.
Yet, with the crisis and increasing debt, there is no course taught to students in Ontario high school students which could cover so many different areas of financial literacy. In my opinion, we make students take half credit courses in careers (many quizzes and personality tests) and civics. Students have options to take courses that really have to impact on their future, yet they do not have the chance or choice to take a financial literacy course. It is something that all students, no matter gender, or ethnic background should be entitled to take.
Financial literacy is applicable to all because it gives students of both genders and different ethnic backgrounds a good base on how to make the correct financial choices. These course does not have to be meant to make all students wealthy; however it can do a good job of giving students a base knowledge on budgeting with their incomes, and staying out of debt, negotiating a better mortgage rate, paying off your mortgage faster and thus saving you thousands of dollars, plus investing and saving. Different options such as stocks, and mutual funds. TSFA, RRSP, RESP's for children. Students do not leave high school with the knowledge of how to file their own tax returns, which with technology is easier than ever. There is so much that students could take with them if a financial literacy course were available to them.
Now, is financial literacy the solution to the credit crisis? I know that the idea mentioned would not solve the crisis, but I believe that by teaching those basic solutions to all young adults in secondary school, we would be giving a wealth of knowledge on how to make key personal financial decisions. Financial literacy may not help all people avoid debt, but a better understanding may limit some debt to at least be manageable.
I believe the young are more likely to face credit problems. Advertisements and technology and wanting to have it all is what they are faced with at all times, so teaching financial literacy at a young age may help young adults understand the ‘nuts and bolts’ of credit. Don’t spend more than you make is not as easy as it sounds for all students.
Does anyone have anything else to offer on this? Any thoughts on how we, as educators in math, could bring financial literacy to each student?