The latest report from Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy (CFL) shed light on the profound impact by of specialized teachers on financial education.
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“Prepped for Success,” released by the Center for Financial Literacy on December 15, outlined the dramatic improvement in personal finance knowledge shown by high school students who received instruction from teachers specifically trained on the subject matter.

“After completing the course, our students [between 16 and 18 years old] did nearly as well on a personal finance exam as folks between 35 and 49 years old,” CFL Director John Pelletier told GenFKD.

“The other data point, which I can’t begin to fathom at all, is that students who took our course did better on a question about concentrated risk in mutual funds than every other generation. For some reason, they all got it.”

Students who took the course essentially leapfrogged millennials when it comes to financial knowledge, a scary thought that those having just left the education system will miss out on potentially transformative improvement.

Of course, the meaningful takeaway from the study is less about students, and more about the effectiveness of teachers. Every instructor in the study had completed CFL’s 45-hour graduate level course that covered personal finance fundamentals and appropriate teaching methods. Upon completion of the course, 94 percent of participants claimed to be confident in their knowledge and ability, compared to just 39 percent of participant’s at the course’s outset.

Dedicated to promoting and developing financial literacy skills in students, teachers and adults, CFL advocates for more financial education at all levels, in addition to conducting its own research towards the improvement of financial education. CFL made headlines earlier in 2015 with a report that gave letter grades to each state on its K-12 financial education.

Our Take

More of this, please. When it comes to treating financial education as a core necessity, as opposed to superfluous luxury, the Center for Financial Literacy is walking the walk. Improving the knowledge and ability of educators is the first step in creating a financially literate America.

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Posted 12.18.2015 - 04:48 pm EST