Lifelong Learning

Financial literacy and functionality as a requirement for high school graduates

Last Edited by David McGruer

Almost all of our high school graduates are functionally illiterate when it comes to finances. They do not know basic economics, are unaware of the causes of the industrial revolution and the incredible advances it brought, do not know the principles of wealth creation, cannot explain anything about our tax system, have no understanding of investments or insurance, could not explain anything about pension plans, employment law, debt management etc. This failure to prepare students to deal with the real world is a terrible failure of the education system. While small steps are being taken, most teachers are themselves unprepared to convey this type of knowledge as they did not learn it themselves unless they've picked up tidbits from experiencing real life.


I propose that a knowledge of personal finance and its philosophic and economic foundations become part of the curriculum in all grades. It does not have to be a stand-alone subject, but rather integrated into history, math, reading, civics and other subjects. The key is to make it so children are inspired by the subject and not dulled by it. History, entrepreneurialism and economics are replete with fantastic narratives that will engage young minds if properly presented. We want our youth to be phenomenal wealth creators, creative thinkers, innovative collaborators and never need a handout in their lives. Programs like Junior Achievement already exist but the concepts need far more penetration into the curriculum.



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Idea No. 88