Teaching Financial Literacy

Teaching Financial Literacy

medium_4365662437Jason Hartman talks a lot about the importance of being financially literate, and we often address specific topics related to developing a knowledge base. But what about those who desire to teach financial literacy? We’ve got advice for them too! It’s a subject that is so important and often neglected in the formal system of education. If you’re an investor with a sound knowledge of your industry, it might be helpful to share your knowledge with others.

If you’d like to teach financial literacy, no matter the venue or formality of the educational experience, you’ll first need to learn to make information relevant to your student’s lives. Think about who your audience is and put yourself in their minds. If you’re speaking with teenagers, you may want to talk about saving for cars, shopping for prom dresses, or applying for colleges. By using examples relevant to their lives, your wisdom is more likely to stick around. Using technology can also be a great way to keep your audience engaged and make things relevant to them.

Next, emphasize broad financial concepts and encourage your students to engage in critical thinking. Asking students to memorize information will not be as effective as teaching concepts that they can apply to other areas of their lives. Activity-based education will commit these new skills and concepts to long term memory and ensure that your students are able to apply them later on. You can also provide them with the tools necessary to be successful (there are a lot of them, and most are available online and for free) by showing them what is available.

Finally, motivate your students to apply their knowledge to their lives outside of a learning environment. A great way to do this is by using examples from the larger world to prove your points. Students typically respond to real numbers, real faces, real situations. Be specific in your examples to increase knowledge retention and motivate students to apply knowledge.

Most importantly, don’t give up on your students during any part of the process. Developing a base knowledge may take some time, and you might not feel immediately rewarded by your teaching experience. If you continue to teach and to lead by example, your students will become good investors who can help others and be leaders in their industry.

(photo credit: Jiuck via photopin cc)

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