Educating the Educators to Teach Their Students About Money

Helping Ontario’s teachers develop their students’ financial literacy is a top priority for Investor Education Fund (IEF).

Teachers were certainly the focus of our recent workshop, A Sound Investment: Financial Literacy in Ontario Schools, where we unveiled our new integrated curriculum for grades 4 to 12 and launched the new InspireFinancialLearning.ca website. (Customized for educators, the website is user friendly and focuses on making classroom-relevant content accessible online.)

I welcomed the full room of eager teachers who attended the full-day event at the Ministry of Education on August 20th. The session featured opening remarks by Ontario Minister of Education, Laurel Broten, a keynote address by CTV consumer reporter, Pat Foran, and a Funny Money presentation by James Cunningham. To get an insider’s peek, view our brief video presentation.

The workshop was a milestone. It was well attended (by teachers from across Ontario and from out of the province) and featured passionate, articulate, supportive remarks from Minister Broten who described how the overall initiative had personal meaning.

The customized and integrated curriculum was created in partnership with financial literacy education experts at the Ontario Institute of Education (OISE); my post of June 6th describes how it evolved. The 39 lesson plans are grade appropriate, fun for teachers and students, and feature instructional modules that can be embedded in almost any subject. They build on existing IEF resources, reflecting our long-standing commitment to teacher development.

Instilling financial literacy when students are young provides a solid foundation for the rest of their lives. The new curriculum is a major step forward in making financial literacy an ongoing reality in Ontario’s schools. It has received strong support across the province – not only from the Ministry but also from teachers and administrators. As a positive kickoff to its implementation this fall, the workshop confirms we can reach young Ontarians effectively through their instructors.

Since we began operating in 2000, IEF has educated more than 10,000 teachers for free on how to make financial literacy lessons stimulating. We’re also the first Canadian financial literacy organization to partner with faculties of education to guide students/teachers in explaining money-related concepts.

IEF’s work with teachers maximizes our resources and efficiency in transforming young Canadians into financially literate adults. The curriculum workshop carries IEF efforts to the next level and shows how we’re seeking to create a self-sustaining culture of financial literacy. However, as I said in my previous post, everyone involved with the education system – especially parents – needs to push to have the new curriculum actively used by teachers.

If you advocate for financial literacy as a teacher, administrator, parent or student, you’ll be helping to make a difference. Change will only happen when we all raise our voices.

That’s my take. What’s yours?

Tom Hamza
Tom Hamza
President of Investor Education Fund

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One Response to Educating the Educators to Teach Their Students About Money

  1. Ed Hicken Ed Hicken says:

    As a teacher, a parent and someone who is interested in Financial Literacy, I am very excited to see that the sample lesson plans have broad application across the curriculum.
    I teach Business, but only ever get to a small percentage of students, as it is an elective. English and Math personal finance lessons will reach nearly everyone as those classes are compulsory. I also like that there are Music and Auto Shop (among other) examples – personal finance isn’t just something that business teachers should be talking about. Keep them coming!

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