Financial literacy used to be a class in many schools–well, until that whole standards-based reform and “accountability” movement started turning the screws on schools.
And like that, it was gone.
It only takes one look at our nation’s financial crisis, heaps of student loan trouble, and general credit malaise to wonder if financial literacy shouldn’t be a bit higher on our priority list. An easy retort is to wonder who has the time–and where are the standards, where is the research, and who’s going to see the data?
But what if, rather than teaching a pure financial literacy lesson or unit, you tied it to your content area? What if it was embedded into a project-based learning unit about design or social media or the causes and effects of World War II?
What if you used a stock market app to analyze the relationship between a company’s branding and advertising campaigns and their stock prices? And how their marketing might change in response to changing market conditions and public perception?
What if your high school government class pulled back the curtain on the way lobbyists impact lawmaking–and corporate profits–and how they, as consumers, might respond?
Or if your math class calculate the lingering effect of debt on the collective human potential of your family? (Might need an English or Social Studies teacher to help with that one.)
Or had your students to develop a new social network–or twist on an existing one–that promoted financial sustainability in a “cool” way that didn’t seem dorky or preachy?
One day, we might see traditional content areas like “math” and “science” melt into something quite different–something less academic, and more “organic” within the life of a student. Classes like Art History, Music History, Business, Design, and even Financial Literacy could then find their way back into a curriculum map near you. Until then, we need contests like this to promote innovation in its express instruction, it seems.
If any of this sounds like something you might teach, weareteachers.org and H&R Block have partnered for a promotion that could be of interest to you.
(Hint: Here’s a pinterest board where you can see other good ideas. You know. Just for inspiration.)
The contest details can be seen at weareteachers.org:
“Cell phone bills. Gas money. Paying for college. Do your students have the money management skills it takes to survive in the real world? How do you help them to understand their current and future financial responsibilities?
Take five minutes to describe your favorite money-related lesson and you could win up to $3,500 for your classroom. Plus, everyone who enters will receive a $15 educator discount on his or her 2013 tax preparation at a local H&R Block.”
How It Works
- Submit a great idea. Here are some hints for making your idea stand out.
- Your idea will be reviewed by a panel of fellow educators, who will choose 10 merit finalists.
- The top three winners will be selected by the sponsor based on merit.
What You Might Get
- One grand-prize winner will receive :
a $3,500 grant for his or her classroom.
- The second-place winner will receive:
a $1,000 grant for his or her classroom.
- A third-place winner will receive:
a $500 grant for his or her classroom
- All entrants will receive an educator discount on their 2013 tax preparation at a local H&R Block.
The Fine Print
H&R Block is the sponsor and WeAreTeachers is the official administrator of this program.