ASIC to launch consumer and financial literacy package for primary teachers

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ASIC will join teachers and education leaders this week for the launch of the MoneySmart Teaching Primary professional learning package – a new resource to help teachers deliver consumer and financial literacy education in schools.

ASIC’s MoneySmart Teaching Primary package will be unveiled in Adelaide this Thursday (9 August) at a national MoneySmart Teaching conference for primary school teachers. Resources for secondary schools are expected to be released in December.

‘Today’s young Australians live in an increasingly complex and digitally connected world with the proliferation of mobile phones and ready access to money and credit. Research shows that it is young people – particularly those aged 18 to 24, who have the lowest levels of financial literacy’, said ASIC Commissioner, Peter Kell.

‘The key to effective financial literacy education is to start young. We need to engage students and their families on a practical and accessible level – from the very beginning of their schooling.’

ASIC’s MoneySmart Teaching primary and secondary packages integrate consumer and financial literacy education into the Australian Curriculum from Foundation to Year 10 and will be trialled in approximately 90 schools nationally. Face-to-face professional learning will be provided to at least 6,000 primary and secondary school teachers between August 2012 and June 2013. Online professional learning will be available to all teachers via the MoneySmart Teaching website during the 2013 school year.

‘Through MoneySmart Teaching, students learn about saving, spending, donating and investing by applying these principles to real life. In a Year 6 mathematics unit called ‘It’s Raining Cats and Dogs…and Chickens’, for example, students learn about equivalent fractions, decimals and percentages by investigating the costs of pet ownership’, said Mr Kell.

‘MoneySmart Teaching provides an opportunity to incorporate real-life learning within the classroom and involve parents and carers more closely in this learning.’

Over the years, financial literacy has been taught to varying degrees in Australian schools. MoneySmart Teaching provides a nationally consistent approach and recognises the important role that teachers play by building their capacity to produce confident and informed financial consumers.

ASIC has collaborated with state and territory education departments and is delighted with their willingness to trial the MoneySmart Teaching package in their jurisdictions. ASIC has a National Partnership Agreement with New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and the ACT. Permission has been given by education departments in Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory for ASIC to work directly with schools and teachers ensuring that MoneySmart Teaching is trialled nationally.

‘MoneySmart Teaching is a key ASIC priority and we welcome the opportunity to build strong collaborative relationships with the education sector to bring about long-term generational change in knowledge, skills and behaviours’, Mr Kell said.

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