Teaching kids how to manage money

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 03/09/2014

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Tools for teachers to help the next generation of money maestros are moving online.

Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School hosted a professional development session for teachers yesterday about financial capability, led by Waikato University education facilitator Janine Mackay.

Financial capability was an expanding set of knowledge, skills and strategies, which individuals built on throughout life, Mackay said.

The one-day workshop was a chance for Palmerston North educators to sharpen their financial teaching skills and unpick the online resources available to aid them.

Money management methods, financial literacy and commercial knowledge were important skills for school-aged children to learn, and showing teachers the tools to help was crucial, Mackay said.

"It's not an add-on to the curriculum, it's an essential life skill that needs to be implemented into all areas and not solely dumped on a maths or economics teacher," she said.

Recent results from the OECD Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA) showed there were gaps in the classroom when it came to teaching financial literacy.

However, moves were afoot from the Ministry of Education to pro- vide more structure and support to help Kiwi teachers, such as raising the profile of teaching tools to help.

The ministry has an extensive range of online resources to complement New Zealand's curriculum, including video clips, tested best-practice tips and ways to link with community services, budget advisers and banks to aid classes.

"It's something that really hasn't been explored enough . . . but there's a huge array of resources to help," Mackay said.

Children were interacting with money and making consumer choices from a young age, but more could still be done, Mackay said.

In primary school it was helping children recognise coins and notes, learning about the concept of earning, spending, needs and wants. In secondary school it was running sessions on student loans, savings, flatting, taxes, credit cards and more serious money management. Intermediate Normal teachers Deb McDonald, Barb Pritchard and Alison McCrae agreed that financial capability was an important component to be included in the curriculum.

Schools, as well as parents, had a responsibility to ensure that children left home well-equipped to make good financial decisions.

McDonald said schools had several ways of teaching pupils about money management, including setting tasks like making a budget to revamp their bedrooms, earning credit in class to spend on certain treats, and running mini businesses. nesses.

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- Manawatu Standard

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