Financial Literacy for Elementary Students | Edutopia
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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Teaching elementary students about money can be challenging. Often, students cannot conceptualize what money is, let alone all of the complicated financial tools that have become a part of our everyday lives.

With so many financial games available online, it is tempting to leap straight into simulations like the stock market game that appear to be engaging, but fail to address the appropriate foundation for teaching money management. So why is a financial education necessary in our schools?

As I have written elsewhere, most people want more than they can afford, and are unwilling to give up something now to save and buy what they really need later. Evidence ranging from the famous marshmallow study, our national savings rate, and a national debt that grew even in times of economic prosperity are compelling examples. Recognizing the problem and understanding the challenge is only half the battle. Addressing how a parent or educator helps shape a child's future financial behavior is necessary.

Elementary Financial Literacy Standards

There are Personal Finance National Standards for elementary grades. Jump$tart, which is a coalition of about 150 national organizations that share an interest in advancing financial literacy among students in pre-kindergarten through college, worked with their partners to write National Standards. These standards are a perfect reference point for elementary teachers passionate about incorporating financial literacy into their lessons.

Urgent Need

As my friend Dan Kadlec pointed out in a recent story with Time, Arne Duncan just said, "As important as reading and math and social studies and science are, I think today more than ever financial literacy has to be part of that. To continue to have a population that is relatively illiterate in these matters, I think has real negative consequences to our democracy." As Kadlec noted, there has yet to be any real action behind this thinking.

Resources for Elementary Financial Literacy

For those of you eager to bring this to your classroom, check out this lesson (downloadable PDF) that my high school Personal Finance students used to teach our entire third grade about what money is, and why they should save it.

Another resource you can rely on that introduces key financial literacy and entrepreneurship concepts is BizWorld. (Full disclosure: I sit on their board.) They have wonderful classroom resources, and they also have a program called BizCamp. If you are lucky enough to make BizCamp a reality for your students, this can be a game-changer for their lives.

In my next two pieces, I will provide lesson guidance for the middle school and high school years.

If you are passionate about financial literacy and want to collaborate with fellow educators to bring personal finance into your classroom, please join us on Twitter for our next #FinEdChat on Wednesday, December 7th from 8:30-9:00 pm. Please feel free to vote for our next topic in advance of the chat.

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alsaraj's picture
PhD in special education gifted & talented childrens


Differences in Multiple Intelligences and Thinking Styles between Gifted, and Non-Gifted Students in Jordan.
Prepared by
AlSarajAbdulmuhsin Selman Shalash
Supervised by
Dr. Fathi Abdel Rahman Jarwan
The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in multiple intelligences and thinking styles between gifted, and non- gifted students in Jordan. The sample of study (formed of 568 male and female students), Gifted students were randomly selected from; King Abdullah II for excellence in Alzarqa first region and Jubilee schools. Non-gifted students were randomly selected from three schools in the Amman fourth Directorate: The-Alnetaqyyn female schools, Tawfik Abu Al-huda male school, for the year 2010\2011.
The researcher used two instruments after checking their validity and reliability on a sample of (50) students:
- The short version list of Thinking Style Inventory Sternberg-Wagner Thinking Styles Inventory based on Theory of Mental Self-Government, after being translated and adapted in line with the Jordanian environment and then making sure its validity and reliability, where coefficient was unchanged with the use of equation of Koder-Richardson (20) Kr-20 (0.87, gifted),( 0.86non-gifted).
- The Mackenzie multiple intelligence survey tool (Mckenzie, 2000), (The Multiple Intelligence Inventory based on the original work by Howard Gardner in 1980s), Which was translated by Hussein (2003), and was relied on the final picture survey instrument consisting of seven intelligences.
The Statistical analyses of the study showed the following:
- Multiple intelligences (visual-spatial, logical mathematical, verbal- linguistic, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, and interpersonal) at the highest mean scores have ranged between (82.7-63.4), for gifted students. But the mean scores of the (interpersonal, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, visual-spatial intelligences) were at the highest levels ranging between (74.1-59.3) for non-gifted students.
- There were statistically significant differences at (a> 0.05) in multiple intelligence (visual-spatial, logical-mathematical, verbal-linguistic, and musical) in favor of gifted students. But there were statistically significant differences at (a=0.05) in interpersonal, intrapersonal, and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences in favor of non-gifted students.
- Thinking styles (legislative, judicial, external, executive) obtained highest mean scores among gifted students. Executive, internal, external, styles obtained high mean scores among non-gifted students.
- There were statistically significant differences at (a< 0.05) on the thinking styles (legislative, judicial, global, monarchic( in favor of gifted students. But there were statistically significant differences at (a>0.05) on the thinking styles (Local, Internal, traditional, hierarchic) in favor of non-gifted students.
- There were no statistically significant differences at (a=0.05) on the thinking styles (liberal, external, oligarchic) between gifted and non-gifted students.
In light of these results the study recommended that that teachers of gifted and non-gifted students need to use methods and strategies of the multiple intelligences and thinking style theories in their teaching. It also recommended doing other studies including other variables and samples.
Amman arab university for higher education

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