In May, Banqer and AAMT brought together education, finance and not-for-profit experts to discuss young people's challenges around financial capability and the obstacles educators face in delivering financial education. They explored what might happen if financial literacy levels don’t improve and what educators can do about it.
The webinar, 'How financial education can bring certainty to an uncertain future - The role secondary schools can play’, can be viewed here. But if you want the top-line summary, read on.
What challenges do young people face today in developing their financial capability?
Various challenges facing young people were identified by our panellists, including the invisibility of money in digital transactions, the feeling that financial literacy education is ‘hidden’ in the education system, and money being a taboo subject in some families. The consequences of this are concerning, with increased risk-taking behaviour and young people finding financial decision-making difficult. Deeply worrying are the cases of gambling addiction among secondary school students enabled via new technology and digital currency.
What challenges do educators face in delivering financial education?
Our panellists noted time restraints and the competing demands of a crowded curriculum as educators' most significant challenges. Lack of control over the classroom is also an issue, compounded by teachers' and parents' focus on assessment scores, hindering financial literacy from becoming a priority. Another barrier is teachers feeling ill-equipped to teach financial literacy, sometimes falling back to teaching abstract concepts like simple interest rather than approaching financial literacy as an integrated and real-world relevant program.
Research suggests the financial literacy of young Australians is falling. What is the impact of this in 20 years if this doesn’t turn around?
Financial literacy is declining, demanding a coordinated approach from all segments of society. The solution requires learning at home, in classrooms, and sustainable and healthy engagement with financial institutions. The negative impacts on society could be significant if financial literacy is not improved in the next 20 years. Conversations about real-life financial issues are essential to improve financial literacy in Australia.
What do young people need to know today to reduce financial uncertainty tomorrow?
The conversation focused on reducing financial uncertainty in young people by equipping them with decision-making skills and the ability to navigate financial information. The guests emphasised the importance of showcasing successful financial models, promoting saving for the future, and setting up a pathway to avoid debt. In addition, they suggested that students need to learn decision-making skills, engage in conversations with parents about financial decisions, and have access to tools to help them make informed decisions.
What is some practical advice for educators wanting to deliver financial literacy education?
Time constraints will always be challenging for educators wanting to deliver a financial literacy program. However, a range of resources is available to support a program of any size, from small community programs, education sector channels, and education technology like Banqer. Panellists emphasised the need for flexibility and opportunism, encouraging teachers to seize relevant moments and have authentic conversations that capture students' interest. They also underscored that fostering good financial capability among students can lead to happier and healthier young adults equipped to pass on their financial knowledge to future generations.
Keep the conversation going
A massive thanks to our panellists, Cassandra Portelli, Allan Dougan, Lamar Johnson and Caroline Stewart for sharing their wisdom and emphasizing the importance of supporting students to learn financial decision-making skills and engaging them in conversations about financial decisions.
Access to the right tools to help manage time and curriculum constraints is of critical importance to successful financial literacy education. Banqer provides educators with a simulative platform to explore a virtual economy with their students, underpinned by teaching and learning resources that save time and effort.
Ready to see how Banqer High can help you deliver rich, engaging financial education? Book a 15-minute exploratory chat with me.
Or, if you're not ready to dive in just yet, learn more about Banqer High.