Kids’ Financial Literacy Standards & Teaching Tips: Newly Released Guidelines by the National Financial Educators Council

LAS VEGAS, June 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) has released updated and expanded Kids’ Financial Literacy Standards. These new standards remain in alignment with the original core mission of the NFEC’s original kids’ financial education standards – to improve the quality and enhance the impact of instruction in financial literacy.

The new financial literacy standards for kids still set forth learning goals and educational targets for people teaching children about personal finance. They have also been expanded to include teaching tips and practical application strategies for both educators and parents alike.  

As part of the NFEC’s social impact initiative to improve youth financial literacy, the Kids’ Financial Literacy Standards report is available complimentary. Access the complete kids’ standards and guidelines here.

These standards define what a child should know about personal finance across five core areas of personal finance subject matter: Financial Psychology; Income, Careers, Business, and Entrepreneurship; Accounts, Savings, Budgeting, and Investment; Credit, Debt, and Loans; and Risk Management and Insurance.  

The NFEC’s Kids’ Financial Literacy Standards guide has been augmented to do even more than set industry standards for kids’ financial education – it now provides:

  • Standards. Learning objectives for what students should know and possess the ability to do at each age.
  • Big Ideas. Core concepts that direct the lessons toward meeting objectives and connecting with other areas.
  • Essential Questions. Questions designed to spark curiosity, conversation, and inquiry.
  • Skills. Outcomes defining the skills a learner should possess to meet the standard.
  • Practical Tips. Practical application of the lessons through inclusion of these elements:
    • Games. Interactive games that engage both learners and game partners.
    • Real-world Connections. Activities that bridge the gap between education and application.
    • Activities. Deepen understanding, develop skill sets, and practice lessons.
    • Chore Project. How standards tie into the NFEC’s Family Chore Project.  

"When educators, parents, and children have clear goals, the instruction becomes better positioned to maximize positive outcomes. This guide provides a framework for the best way to teach kids about personal finance." Vince Shorb, NFEC, CEO

The NFEC developed financial literacy standards for kids as part of its social impact campaign to lead the industry by promoting youth financial literacy and improving existing guidelines. By designing the standards, the NFEC aimed to resolve problems with other industry kids’ standards that failed to align with students’ cognitive abilities, thus setting learning outcomes that children would be unable to grasp at recommended ages.

By separating material based on cognitive abilities and thinking skill sets, the NFEC empowers instructors and parents to scaffold lessons appropriately and ensures that students can complete the lessons successfully at each level.

To guide these educational standards and ensure that instructional targets are age-appropriate, the NFEC consulted pedagogical theories including Webb’s Depth of Knowledge Theory, Core Knowledge Theory, and Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development. Taken together, these models offered a conceptual frame for effectively teaching kids about money in a way that meets them at their current developmental stage. The NFEC standards separate learning outcomes based on cognitive level (pre-operational ages 2 to 7, concrete operational ages 7 to 11, and formal operational for children older than age 11).

The NFEC states its mission as creating a world where everyone has the financial capability to make solid financial decisions that improve their own lives and the lives of the people they reach. As a social enterprise organization, the NFEC supports the efforts of all advocates and champions in the family financial wellness space.

Trevor Stoll

SOURCE National Financial Educators Council

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