14 SES 03 B, School-related Transitions: Wellbeing and resilitent students
This paper talk about the importance of financial education for the inclusion, the citizenship and building of well-being
Everyday life can be seen as the texture of habits by which one builds one’s social position in real life. It is the plane on which one measures the quality of life, it is the place where one’s wishes for well-being can come true. It is the set of environments, practices and sense relations, it is the space-time dimension of each one of us, in which consumer behaviour is a dimension for the construction of practices that are basic to life.In contemporary society we are, once again, going through a historical moment in which crisis, declining consumption, indebtedness, families in difficulty, etc., are perhaps the most spoken and written words in the news and in everyday life. It appears, therefore, urgent that pedagogy addresses issues and situations for a long time considered prerogatives of other disciplines, in order to tackle the educational aspect to them reportedly, and to "educate to the future" in every situation and age. The pedagogy should address the development of economic competence, considered as one of the spheres of life aimed at the design of well-being, which is also built through learning.
Financial education has become an important aspect of the education of citizens and is globally recognized as an essential element of stability and socio-cultural development. It also allows considering the future as a controllable time frame, though not always predictable, thanking to greater critical skills acquired from an early age. Research shows that the family, the parents and the children talk about money, especially in the face of expenses; while monthly income, savings, debts and economic problems are discussed only on a few occasions. The school represents, as shown by the indications of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD, the most appropriate and effective channel to educate the youngers on financial issues, even though the possession of that knowledge is not sufficient to ensure that when they will be citizens they are able to make informed decisions.
A scholastic financial education project in Lombardy: “Economic-financial skills in school curricula”
The project, coordinated by Regional School Department for Lombardy has involved in the course of the school year 2014-2015 ten upper secondary schools throughout the Lombardy Region. Each school has participated with one or more classes, involving a total of about 400 students. The educational pathway was created thanks to the cooperation of 5 entities active in the promotion of financial education in schools.The main objective of the project is to promote economic and financial education in a more detailed manner, enhancing and encouraging initiatives by external experts who have succeeded, by cooperating with the educational system, in enriching and in integrating the more traditional educational pathways.
For the first time ever, different bodies have joined forces and have worked together to propose to the school system an ample and multilevel educational path that responds very well, among others, to the invitation of the recent Law No. 107/2015; this Law lists among its educational priorities the development of skills in the field of active and democratic citizenship also by means of the strengthening of juridical and economic/financial knowledge and of education regarding self-entrepreneurial ability.
The confrontation between expert bodies and schools has produced an interesting and profitable dialogue that has mostly directly involved students not only in classroom lessons but also in workshop and job-oriented activities
Monitoring This paper offers a summary of the quality monitoring performed, that has attempted to picture the following aspects: • level of interiorisation, on the part of the students involved, of the importance of having economic skills in one’s life, such as for example making choices in the present and reasoning in terms of plans for the future, the conscious use of money, risk management; • involvement and active participation and approval rating of the project by students and teachers; • comments and suggestions of the teachers who participated in the proposal of the Ufficio Scolastico Regionale per la Lombardia; • feedback of the educators who worked in the project proposed by the Ufficio Scolastico Regionale per la Lombardia. The following quality monitoring tools were used: Students: • Paper questionnaire compiled in presence of the researcher • Brainstorming and group debate with the researcher. Teachers: • Semi-structured interview with the researcher. Educators from the bodies involved: • Self-compiled online questionnaire. Monitoring was performed on 4 classes in Lombardy belonging to as many different school curricula, selected among the 10 participating schools. Monitoring at the schools was carried out towards the end of the school year, once the project was completed, by two researchers, so as to be able to work in parallel with the class and with the teacher and not slow down school activities. The questionnaires collected amounted to 81 and the debate groups formed were 4, one per class. As regards the educators, instead, the bodies included in the educational path design and implementation panel invited all of their tutors to answer the questionnaire online.
The group was able to draft an advanced version of the pilot project that, by taking into account the indications provided by the teachers and students involved, today provides schools with a new edition of the educational pathway, introducing a more suitable coordination of the contents with respect to the first edition. A key element of the project has been the connection of financial education with the school curriculum thanks to the skill-based teaching formula, that has allowed to match the contents of the programs proposed by the participating bodies with the expected outcomes for the students. Overall, 81 students were involved in the monitoring activities. Of these, 72% are female, 83% attend the third year of upper secondary school and 51% are attending an educational pathway that does not envisage “economics”, or anything similar, as a subject. In general, the course attracted the students’ interest and led to reflection on their part. The actions that touched the students’ sphere of everyday life proved to be more effective than others. The most critical aspects concern several interventions that were perhaps of an excessively ‘technical’ kind and not suited to “fill in the gap” in the everyday life experience of the students, also in terms of vocabulary and cultural background. As regards the methods, it should be noted how poor knowledge in one or more topics was often seen as an obstacle and not as one of the positive aspects of the project, capable of filling in their knowledge gaps. Quite evidently, the students don’t see these as shortcomings. The four teachers interviewed, as persons of reference for the project in their respective classes, showed great enthusiasm in the educational pathway. Their reflections were grouped into the following categories: teaching - time - contents - suggestions.
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