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Critical Financial Literacy Liz Criddle ACSA Conference 9 October 2011
Overview • Background and perspective • Current definitions of financial literacy • The need for financial literacy • Critical perspectives • Placement of financial literacy • A revised definition? Liz Criddle October 2011
Background • Literacy and numeracy elements • Global perspective • Critical focus
Discussion Question What is your definition of “financial literacy”?
Current Definitions 1. MCEETYA “Application of knowledge, understandings, skills and values in consumer and financial contexts and the related decisions that impact on self, others, the community and the environment” (Financial Literacy Framework)
2. ASIC “The ability to make informed judgements and to take effective decisions regarding the use and management of money. In today's world of increasingly complex financial decisions, financial literacy may be considered a vital skill for all consumers” (2003 Discussion Paper)
3. Financial Literacy Board (through ASIC) “A person who is consumer and financially literate has the ability to apply knowledge, understandings, skills and values in consumer and financial contexts to make informed and effective decisions that have a positive impact on self, others, the community and the environment” (National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework)
Discussion Question Is financial literacy needed? Why or why not?
The Need for Financial Literacy Arguments that are: • Global • National • Local/State
Discussion Question Who is driving this… who is behind the push for financial literacy and what perspectives are dominant?
Critical Perspectives “There appears to be a wide gap between the programs to increase financial literacy and the skills individuals need to manage their finances” Taylor & Wagland 2011 Remote communities “The critical discourse … explicitly stands outside the market-based system to critique its dehumanising effects, and in terms of financial capability this involves identifying the ways in which the concept of financial literacy itself can disempower and further oppress people” Landvogt 2006 “[We need to be] creating global financial education frameworks… pushing for nations to legislate for financial products that protect children’s interests [and] aimed at helping children in developing countries to break out of the poverty cycle” Billimoria 2010
Placement of Financial Literacy Australian Curriculum: “The national curriculum for Maths … contains a strong focus on the practical financial skills that students need. Financial literacy has been taught to varying degrees… across Australia but is has been lacking in national consistency and focus… [it is] an essential part of preparing for adult life at work and running a household” (Chris Bowen, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, 18 August 2010.) • Local - NSW
Discussion Question Who should teach financial literacy and how should it be taught?
A Revised Definition? Discussion Question What does critical financial literacy look like?
In Conclusion “… what matters in curriculum is not what is prescribed to be taught, but what is learned…. the focus is on describing … the end point rather than bodies of knowledge… if one big continuing challenge for curriculum is the question of knowledge… another is the management of equity and diversity.” Yates, Collins & O’Connor 2011