Tools to support the introduction of financial education in schools Training the teachers

The importance of training teachers is underlined by most countries as a key component of a successful introduction of financial education in schools. Indeed one of the factors that will influence the educational system in its support for financial education is the availability of high quality teaching material together with training and other support for teachers. Furthermore, while support for financial education in schools may be secured at the governmental level, this will have little impact on student learning unless teachers are actively encouraged and supported to incorporate financial education into their teaching programmes.

Such training can be provided as part of an initial teachers course, or later in their professional life as part of lifelong training. In both cases, it should be provided by qualified staff and following predefined approved guidelines. Trainers should in particular be aware of the requirements of the educational curriculum and be familiar with the pedagogic tools that will later be used by teachers in their classes.

In addition, the majority of countries that have financial education in schools have also developed a wide variety of pedagogical resources available to support teachers in the classroom: printed material, interactive tools through the Internet, student competitions, games and films. These are elaborated by the Ministries of Education but also by national banks, the private sector and NGOs.

The following five case studies describe the training provided to support financial education in Australia, Canada and the Province of British Columbia, England, Japan, and South Africa.

Each case study provides a useful example for policy makers. Australia illustrates the need to put financial education into perspective, stressing the synergies with the entire school curriculum; Canada shows the importance of an appropriate choice of delivery method, through a wide use of webcasts and web conferences; England offers an interesting perspective on the involvement of a charity and its collaboration with the private sector; Japan provides interesting insight on the development of an effective national network for training and research using the local branches of the Central Bank; and finally South Africa is an example of the integration within the educational system through a point-based system for the professional development of teachers.

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