What is financial literacy?
Financial literacy has often been defined purely in terms of ‘personal financial education’. Concern is frequently expressed about the capability of individuals in managing their own finances and avoiding levels of debt which they are unable to repay. Given the number of people who get themselves into serious financial difficulties this is an important social objective. Schools have their part to play in equipping young people to avoid these problems. However, this approach to financial literacy appears to lay all the responsibility for financial problems on to individuals. In the light of successive financial scandals and the financial crisis of 2008 this is a difficult position to take. There is, therefore, an argument for extending financial literacy to include knowledge and understanding of bank and government behaviour as well as personal financial management. The document below introduces a framework for a broader definition of financial literacy.
Download Financial Literacy Briefing 1: What is Financial Literacy? (PDF, 93KB)
Assessing financial literacy
Assessment is important for teaching and learning in all areas of the curriculum. How else can teachers and students clarify what progress is being made and what to aim for in the future? But assessment tends to have a lower profile ‘non-core’ areas of the curriculum, such as financial literacy. One line of work being followed at the University of Birmingham is the development and evaluation of some assessment items which can be used in schools to assess financial literacy.
Download Financial Literacy Briefing 2: Assessing Financial Literacy (PDF, 123KB)