Educators' Corner

This section includes Professional Learning Videos for educators looking to expand their knowledge of the linkages between financial literacy and the H&PE curriculum in addition to a Facilitator’s Guide designed to provide educators with background information on financial literacy.

Professional Learning Videos

Facilitator's Guide

What is financial literacy?

Financial literacy is defined as “[h]aving the knowledge and skills needed to make responsible economic and financial decisions with competence and confidence.”[1]

Why teach financial literacy?

We live in a world where financial decisions are becoming increasingly complex. People can access financial products and services rapidly and need a wide range of skills and knowledge to make informed financial decisions. It’s in the context of this global financial reality that financial literacy is capturing the attention of governments around the world. Citizens with a solid understanding of financial basics are more likely to successfully navigate today’s complex financial world.

According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD):

“Financial education can benefit consumers of all ages and income levels. For young adults just beginning their working lives, it can provide basic tools for budgeting and saving so that expenses and debt can be kept under control. Financial education can help families acquire the discipline to save for a home of their own and/or for their children’s education. It can help older workers ensure that they have enough savings for a comfortable retirement by providing them with the information and skills to make wise investment choices with both their pension plans and any individual savings plans.”[2]

The Ontario Ministry of Education supports the integration of financial literacy in Grades 4-12 and states that, “in addition to acquiring knowledge in such specific areas as saving, spending, borrowing, and investing, students need to develop skills in problem solving, inquiry, decision-making, critical thinking, and critical literacy related to financial issues. The goal is to help students acquire the knowledge and skills that will enable them to understand and respond to complex issues regarding their own personal finances and the finances of their families, as well as to develop an understanding of local and global effects of world economic forces and the social, environmental, and ethical implications of their own choices as consumers.”[3]

Why is financial literacy important to students in Ontario?

In the document A Sound Investment: Financial Literacy Education in Ontario Schools, (2010) the Ontario Working Group on Financial Literacy found that:

  • Ontario students need to be financially literate to make more informed choices in a complex and fast-changing financial world. With an understanding of the implications of their decisions and with the necessary problem-solving and critical- thinking skills, students will be better equipped to function in today’s financial environment.
  • Financial literacy education provides a critical set of lifelong skills. The skills that students acquire prepare them for life after graduation and will support the development of their economic security, health, and well-being throughout their lives – which in turn will contribute to the strength of our society as a whole.
  • Financial literacy can improve prospects for the success of every child. All students are entitled to the opportunity to develop financial literacy as part of their education. Financial literacy will empower students to make informed decisions about their finances in the future, and will help to improve their confidence and self-esteem.
  • Financial literacy contributes to the development of knowledgeable, compassionate citizens. Public education has a responsibility to transmit to students not only the knowledge and skills required for academic learning but also the habits of mind and heart that are necessary for good citizenship. Financial literacy education needs to provide an understanding of responsible, ethical, and compassionate financial decision making in order to contribute to meeting that goal.[4]

 


[1] Ontario Ministry of Education. (2010). A Sound Investment: Financial Literacy Education in Ontario Schools, Report of the Ontario Working Group on Financial Literacy. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/financial_literacy_eng.pdf

[2] OECD. (2005). Improving Financial Literacy: Analysis of Issues and Policies. Retrieved from http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/finance-and-investment/improving-financial-literacy_9789264012578-en

[3]Ontario Ministry of Education. (2011). Ministry of Education Financial Literacy Scope and Sequence of Expectations. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/policy/finlitgr4to8.pdf  

[4] Ontario Ministry of Education. (2010). A Sound Investment: Financial Literacy Education in Ontario Schools, Report of the Ontario Working Group on Financial Literacy. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/financial_literacy_eng.pdf