Why Financial Literacy Teachers are Excited About This New Course
By Brian Page
August 15, 2017
With the school year upon us, financial literacy teachers will be happy to know they have a valuable new resource to draw upon—one that will both save them time and add a welcome dose of relevancy to their lessons.
Earlier this month, NextGen Personal Finance unveiled a free one-semester personal finance course that is easy to use and understand. It promises to help novice financial literacy teachers get started quickly while providing tools for experienced financial literacy teachers to build a better program.
“NGPF keeps things current,” says Amanda Volz, a teacher at St. Clair High School in St. Clair, Michigan. “Their activities are rigorous and relevant. I can’t wait to dive in.”
NextGen is a widely trusted financial literacy organization. (It also supports Right About Money.) In three years, founder Tim Ranzetta and his team have pulled together engaging resources that are the buzz of personal-finance teacher conversations. Colleagues have told me that NextGen resources are the perfect puzzle pieces to pull together their lessons.
“Our one-semester course is the culmination of three years of effort to determine what educators want in a personal finance curriculum,” says Ranzetta. “In the hundreds of conversations we have had with teachers, several themes stuck out. Educators told us they wanted lessons that were current, curated, comprehensive, and customizable. They also wanted it to be free and easy.”
Much of what’s already available free to teachers is evergreen material updated only sporadically, if at all. NextGen is a trusted third party nonprofit committed to keeping its content current.
“In Florida, we’re tasked with teaching economics and financial literacy in one semester, which in that time frame cannot be done independently,” says Brett Burkey, an economics teacher at Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. “I believe the NGPF semester course holds the promise of a resource that economics teachers can trust to teach personal finance and embed the required economics standards simultaneously.”
Teachers I have spoken with expect the course to save them time, which will enable more detailed personal assessments and give them opportunities to meet individually with students. But mostly they love that the program will be modified regularly to remain relevant to kids’ lives. That’s paramount in any learning situation but doubly true with a difficult subject like money.