Financial Literacy – What students are lacking even with amazing resources!

Now let me began first that I have not reviewed this particular ” Let’s Figure It Out” resource that Image


that can be found at  However, I have been spending the past few days researching what does Financial Literacy look like? Feel like? Is it something different than Numeracy?  Would Maths teacher believe that Financial Literacy is just a continuation on from Numeracy?

When I came to NZ to teach in 2010 – I remember teaching the Maths Unit Standard that asked students to calculate gross and net pay.  I can still clearly remember the discussion with students about the difference and was amazed at the lack of knowledge when it came to tax, their pay, savings and hire purchase.  Why this amazed me was the fact that my mother started me quite young on understanding financial literacy with my Royal Bank Leo the Lion savings account. Image (note: Leo has gotten an upgrade of coolness since my younger days)

However, the majority of the students that I have came across,in the two schools I have taught, don’t seem to have a particular high fluency in finance.  Which I wonder is why students seem to have sense of value/personal responsibility when their smart phones are “missed placed” – lost or in “accidents” – smashing them on the ground?  Now that is a whole other kettle of fish that I could be opening myself up to so I will try to get back on track….

Financial Literacy….what is it?  NZQA has identified the strands and progressions through Level 1-5 (

Interesting to myself – I was never introduced to this document until I decided to go looking for it.  My previous departments that I worked in – we never discussed in depth finance skills for junior school students.  After reading this resource and reflecting – I dropped the ball when it came to my students but a part of me thinks – did I? If I did not know there was a ball to drop?  Anyways…

What I believe is the most beneficial aspect of that document is the goal setting and assessing risks.  I know as a Maths teacher I can teach students the skills of how to calculate.  That is what tax, interest, PAYE, etc are at the basic level but it is the concepts of making sense of the world, relationships, connections, etc – is how I can engage my students.  If you get engagement- understanding should flow which than they start to question?  Do they see how their choices can make difference to them at a solo level, a community level, at a national level and than BANG – world level. 

I have also been exploring the Level 1 Unit Standards that build onto from Level 5 progression of the strands.  The context that these assessments are placed in are not that difficult to see but the prep work laid by teachers might of been lacking.  Having an unit of work that allows students to explore financial literacy – can easily aline with “traditional” standard of teaching the number and patterns strand in the junior school. 

I have a lot more thoughts but I am still trying to sort them…

Here are some resources that I found:





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