Confidence in Teaching Personal Finance Grows from 9% to 70% Over the Past Decade – PRNewswire

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — 70% of high school teachers are very confident to teach personal finance, according to a study released earlier this month by Dr. Melody Harvey of University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dr. Carly Urban of Montana State University. This study demonstrates the significant changes in the personal finance instruction and professional development since an earlier 2009 study, which found that only 9% of teachers felt well qualified to teach personal finance (Way and Holden, 2009).

Here are the highlights of the study which was based on a sample of 504 teachers most likely to teach personal finance if a mandate passed in their state:

  • Significant expansion of personal finance instruction with this study finding 83% of teachers surveyed teaching personal finance as a standalone course, teaching it as part of another course or had taught it in the past. This compares with 30% in the 2009 study.
  • Dramatic increase in teacher participation in professional development with 54% participating in some PD in the past year vs. 19% in 2009 (over a three-year period). The researchers note the expansion of free or low-cost professional development opportunities for educators which was practically non-existent in 2009.
  • Strong commitment from educators to increase access to financial education with 86% agreeing with the importance of all high school students taking a one-semester personal finance course before crossing that graduation stage.

Dr. Carly Urban, Montana State University, summed up the findings: “States often talk about lack of teacher preparation as a reason for not including personal finance instruction in high school graduation requirements. Our research suggests that this isn’t actually a problem. Even teachers licensed in areas unrelated to personal finance, who may be the ones available to teach the class, are pretty confident in their ability to deliver a solid financial education program.”

Dr. Melody Harvey, University of Wisconsin-Madison, explained: “Of course, these trends correlate with the overall expansion of high school financial education. Few states either offer professional development as part of their legislative requirements, or offer them through partnerships between state departments of education, state treasuries, and/or state councils of economic education. Yet, many professional development programs for personal finance instruction arose independently. Thus, policymakers can at least easily refer their potential personal finance teachers to these programs.”

Tim Ranzetta, co-founder of Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), noted, “This research confirms what we see every day in our work at NGPF. 7,000+ teachers have invested 120,000+ hours of their time honing their craft, learning new content and collaborating with peers since March 2020. They are talented, passionate and eager to do more to achieve Mission 2030, when all students will graduate high school with the financial skills they need to thrive.”

About Next Gen Personal Finance
Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), has become the “one-stop shop” for more than 43,000 educators looking for free, high-quality, engaging personal finance curriculum to equip students with the skills to thrive in the future. NGPF curriculum has a broad reach, with more than 7 out of 10 U.S. high school students attending schools where a teacher utilizes NGPF resources. NGPF supports educators with the most comprehensive suite of PD: 7,000+ teachers participated in more than 120,000 hours of NGPF professional development in 2020. The non-profit has been recognized by Common Sense Education as a “Top Website for Teachers to Find Lesson Plans” and “Best Business and Finance Games.” NGPF is funded through an endowment so that all curriculum and professional development are provided at no cost.

Contact: Christine Yoo, 818-744-8491, [email protected]

SOURCE Next Gen Personal Finance

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