Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Preparing Teachers to Include Financial Education in Their Lessons

This article reports on a study commissioned by NEFE, entitled "Teachers' Background & Capacity to Teach Personal Finance," (this is the same study that Michelle Singletary wrote about in the Washington Post several weeks ago) and notes as Singletary did that teachers are not prepared to teach, nor confident in their ability to teach financial education to their students. It raises questions about how to include such training in teacher preparation programs and how to train current teachers whose states standards related to personal finance. One of the more interesting things I took away from this article was that although 44 states "have adopted personal financial education standards or guidelines," this article goes on to say that "the study found no influence of state standards on whether a teacher had taken a course in personal finance, taught a course or felt competent to teach a course." This makes me question to the adoption of standards by states as anything more than a nod to the importance of personal finance and that without further support, training and development of useful materials the impact of a move such as changing the standards will be minimal.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Numeracy and Defaulting on One's Mortgage

Numeracy and the Subprime Crisis, a recent article in the Economist based on research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta examines the numeracy skills of subprime borrowers to try to determine who is more likely to default on their mortgages. What do you think of the quiz and the role that mathematical understanding plays in financial decision making?