Students Should Graduate With Financial Literacy and More

In an interesting series of online articles in Edutopia, the case is made for education that results in financial literacy. I fully agree. I believe that one of the contributing factors to our current economic collapse is a failure to educate for financial literacy. While we’ve all been schooled in math, science, literature, and social studies, few of us ever received education about financial security and responsibility. Unfortunately, we don’t generally educate our students in basic life skills for a changed and changing world. This is an enormous failure and needs to be remedied.

But it’s important not to stop at financial literacy. In addition to understanding why they shouldn’t buy an SUV on credit if they won’t be able to make their monthly payments for years to come, students also ought to receive education about the consequences of an SUV on people, animals and the planet. Along with learning about the economic consequences of spending lots of money in the cafeteria on sodas, burgers, and candy (rather than saving their money and eating fewer calories brought from home), we need to teach our students about the effects of such food choices on their health, animals, and the environment. In addition to helping students realize the financial impact of buying expensive brand name clothes and shoes instead of saving for more important future goals, we must help them become skilled at analyzing the advertisements that insidiously influence their purchasing choices and become aware of the effects on other people and the environment from outsourced, sweatshop-produced products.

Certainly, let’s start educating for financial literacy, but let’s not stop there.

~ Zoe

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