PR Log - Jan 24, 2013 - TORONTO -- Toronto junior school students know more about money management than many people think. Money School Canada recently concluded a year-long financial literacy benchmarking study that assessed the baseline money management knowledge of Toronto public school students in Grades 4 - 6. The twenty question knowledge assessment exercise was completed by 357 students in their classrooms as part of a three-hour, co-curricular financial literacy workshop. The findings of this highly unique research study are beneficial to financial literacy program designers, teachers and parents as they zero in on the areas where money management educational efforts can have the most impact.
The Money School Canada What Kid$ Know study found that 85% of students know that you should spend your money on things you need before you spend on things you want. In a child’s vernacular ‘want’ and ‘need’ are often used interchangeably, especially when it comes to spending someone else's money, but the reality is that most kids are well aware there is a difference. Parents can build on a child's knowledge foundation by providing opportunities to practice applying their understanding. “Engaging children in the process of determining family purchasing priorities, no matter how small, is an excellent way to develop essential money management skills” says Tricia Barry, Executive Director of Money School Canada “asking for input lets kids demonstrate their spending savvy in real-life learning situations: groceries or gadgets? education or entertainment? transportation or treats? Most kids will get it right every time – especially when the impact of the decision is explained."
An often overlooked aspect of teaching priority setting lessons to kids is the discussion about spending trade-offs. For most people purchasing decisions are accompanied by a concurrent choice to leave some items on the shelf. Parents can help children to develop good spending habits by expanding purchasing decision lessons to include a frank chat about the items that will be left behind and why.
Many of the Grade 4 – 6 students, who participated in the financial literacy knowledge assessment survey, could correctly identify an example of a long-term savings goal and knew that it is a good idea to save monthly. The findings reveal that parents and educators can make a difference by helping kids to better understand interest, in particular, how it is earned on savings account balances.
STUDENT FINANCIAL LITERACY ASSESSMENT SURVEY - METHODOLOGY Money School Canada conducted a 20 question financial literacy assessment survey with 357 students in Grades 4 – 6 classrooms across the GTA as part of a knowledge benchmarking exercise for students participating in financial literacy workshops. Students were provided with a series of plain language, money-related statements centered in basic money management vocabulary and concepts. A multiple choice format was used where students were asked to select from four possible responses including: 1] True, 2] False, 3] Not Sure and 4] New Word. The expanded suite of possible answers, beyond simply True or False, ensures a higher integrity in the results as guessing is reduced [a 50/50 chance of a correct answer] and, with the option to indicate if a certain word is new to the respondent – “I don’t understand the statement therefore I can’t answer”, there is greater assurance that the student’s financial literacy is being measured rather than their proficiency with the English language. The addition of a ‘New Word’ answer option is a critical aspect in this type of financial literacy knowledge assessment, particularly in cases where there is a higher concentration of ESL students, such as in the GTA. Percentage correct data reflects those students who chose the correct answer – all other answers were considered incorrect. The financial literacy assessment was completed between December 2011 and December 2012. A probability sample of this size yields results accurate to ± 5.1 percent, 19 times out of 20.
ABOUT MONEY SCHOOL CANADA www.moneyschoolcanada.com Money School Canada, established in 2009, offers customized, in-class financial literacy workshops to students in Grade 4 – 11. Thousands of students have enjoyed a comprehensive introduction to money management essentials, delivered right in the classroom, by professional financial literacy educators. Money School Canada workshop facilitators are passionate and draw on rich, hands-on experience, gained through years working in financial services, to dispel student money myths on-the-spot and to answer questions fully and accurately. Money School Canada’s financial literacy workshops offer a truly superior financial literacy learning experience for students. Face-to-face, right in the classroom, where students want and expect to learn.
Financial literacy workshops are tailored to junior, middle, and high school classes. On average, class financial literacy assessment scores increase by an outstanding 25% over a lively, interactive three hours of instruction – delivered over three weeks in memorable and digestible one-hour lessons. Workshops for parents and for Children's Aid Society youth transitioning out of care to independent living situations are also available.
Students love the workshop which introduces them to the essentials of Financial Goal Setting & Savings, Budgeting, Interest, What Banks Do [and how they make money], and Borrowing & Credit. Classroom teachers consistently assign top marks and all indicated they felt more comfortable teaching financial literacy to their students after Money School Canada visited. All teachers indicated they would recommend the Money School Canada program to colleagues. Workshops are endorsed by the TDSB Financial Literacy Steering Committee.
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