November 16, 2021

Does Financial Literacy Fit in My Department?  

Mandy Money

When you hear the phrase “teaching money in schools”, what comes to mind? For most people, it’s assumed that financial literacy is a topic reserved for the commerce department. Is this the case, or just as commerce affects society in surprising ways, does financial literacy also pop up in surprising places in varying school departments?

So, Where Should we be Teaching Money?  

Many assume that money skills should be taught in commerce subjects. Of course, this is a natural assumption; these subjects are all about money after all. Yet, quite often we are finding they are jampacked with content and time-poor, so finding opportunities to go beyond the subject scope to cover personal finance is tough. Here at Mandy, we believe money should be taught across a range of subjects so students can learn the varying levels trade affects society, and build a diversified, and holistic financial education.  

According to the Australian Financial Skills Curriculum, “consumer and financial literacy features explicitly in Mathematics and Humanities and Social Sciences.” But we’ve found financial literacy relates to a range of subjects and departments. So, if you’re a keen teacher interested in getting creative about teaching financial literacy, read on! 

Mathematics

Firstly, maths class is the perfect place to teach students about the value of money and how things like interest can impact it. Given the rise of young people taking on bad debt like buy-now-pay-later loans, maths class is the perfect place to explore how much a loan cost you.  

Consider taking your class through the ‘real cost’ of a loan. Teach them how to calculate interest accrued and how long it will take to pay back. Then, show them how to figure out how much the loan will cost them in total. It’s a great lesson both in maths and in understanding debt and will help prepare your students for debt-free futures.  

Social Sciences

In social sciences, often the focus is on the world and people around you. Part of understanding the world is understanding what keeps society running and funded. So, we’d recommend using this space as an opportunity to explore our various duties as members of this society, and particularly, your financial obligations as a citizen.  

To help teach your students about how they, and other citizens interact with the money ecosystem, consider running a session on tax. Explain to your students why it exists, where their money will go and how it helps society run. Start a discussion about the role of tax in society and compare societies with high taxes with low taxes. In doing so, you can introduce your students to big picture concepts that they will encounter later in life.  

 

History 

While money and history don’t immediately sound like they’d go hand in hand, history is a great place to cover how economic theories can explain past events.  

Our recommendation is to run a class on inflation and how it can impact student’s spending power throughout their lives. Transport your class back in time to the Weimar Republic to teach them how inflation can turn into hyper-inflation and how this affected citizens at the time. Compare how much goods like groceries or a house would have cost in today’s dollars. In conducting this activity, you’ll help your students understand these abstract concepts that are often difficult to visualize.  

Health & Wellbeing

Surprised? We were too at first, but financial wellbeing fits in neatly to the wellbeing needs of students.  

Financial wellbeing has a direct impact on stress and anxiety in society, so teach your students how to manage their money in a responsible way. Encourage students to develop healthy money mindsets and build an abundance approach to money. Demonstrate the resources available to Australians when they find themselves in a sticky money situation and how to manage the stress associated.

Money doesn’t just HAVE to be taught in your student’s commerce subjects. There are so many ways to integrate it across their curriculum, all you need to do is get creative! Looking for more inspiration? Drop us a line at hello@mandymoney.com.au to find out more!

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