02 SES 13 A, Education and Transition: Economic Competence and Financial Literacy
The investigation of informal conceptions has a longstanding tradition in science learning whereas comparable efforts regarding economic issues are relatively scarce. The research study to be presented here aims to contribute to filling this gap by exploring adolescents’ informal conceptions of the European financial and economic crisis. It intends (a) to describe these conceptions, and (b) to identify possible individual differences as well as to explore whether and how they may vary for countries in which the crisis is more noticeable than in others. A total of 658 respondents of the target group from Italy and Switzerland filled in an open-ended questionnaire in which they were asked to explain what they perceive as causes and consequences of the crisis. Analyses of the data encompassed inductive content categorical analyses as well as descriptive and comparative analyses. Among others, 22 categories of perceived causes emerged which can be grouped into three broader visions: a) a vision which attributes the crisis to systemic and international factors b) a vision which cites specific national factors and c) a personalized vision which interprets the economic crisis in terms of troublesome individual consequences. Moreover, significant differences between the two countries occurred.
Aprea, C. (2015). Secondary school students’ informal conceptions of complex economic phenomena: Findings and implications for the design of formal curricula and instruction. International Journal of Educational Research, 29, 12-22. Berti, A.E.,& Bombi, A.S. (1988). The child’s construction of economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lundholm, C & Davies, P (2013). Conceptual change in the social sciences. In S. Vosniadou (Ed.) International handbook of research on conceptual change (pp. 288-304). New York: Routledge. UNICEF (2014). Children of the recession. The impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries. Innocenti Report Card 12, UNICEF Office of Research, Florence.
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