JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Bankers Association, in association with State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, will evaluate the curriculum and teacher training for a required personal finance class.
The group’s inquiry follows a study of the personal finance credit requirement commissioned by the bankers association that found the requirement improved learning in Missouri, but less than it did in other states that also required courses in personal finance.
“We have found that while there has been some positive impact, there is still a great deal of room for improvement when it comes to financial education in Missouri,” said Max Cook, Missouri Bankers Association CEO, in a statement. “Financial literacy is crucial, and this study will help us understand how we need to shape education in this state for years to come.”
One area the group is looking to improve is teacher training. They are developing a graduate-level course for teachers that would focus on personal finance education. The training will also incorporate national standards and changes that have occurred in the consumer economy since the personal finance requirement was added in 2006.
“When it comes to teaching our students how to succeed in life after school, we must offer lessons that are relevant today, not in years past,” Zweifel said. “Our understanding of behavioral economics has surged in the last decade, revealing how consumers make economic decisions and the skills they need to make those decisions wisely.”
The group is also looking to update and improve the resources available to students.
To help achieve these goals, the Bankers Association and the treasurer are also seeking input from the Federal Reserve Banks of St. Louis and Kansas City, as well as the Department of Education and Secondary Education.
Zweifel also sent a letter to the Missouri Board of Education, requesting that they take steps to update Missouri’s personal finance curriculum to match national standards proposed by the Council for Economic Education.
Currently, students can complete the personal finance credit in a standalone class, embedded in another elective course, or by testing out via an online assessment.