02 SES 05 B, Round Table: Exploring Multiple Conceptions Of Financial Literacy
Given the financial challenges that most European countries are currently facing, financial literacy (i.e. the ability to reasonably deal with financial matters) is becoming an indispensable competence in everyday life. However, citizens of all ages seem not to be very well prepared to effectively cope with these demands, as several international surveys (e.g., INFE, 2009; OECD, 2005; 2009; Reifner, 2006) conveyed. Thus, the promotion of financial literacy remains a core concern for every educational system. This necessity, in turn, presupposes the availability of an educationally sound and agreed upon conception which helps to define the aims and contents of financial literacy education and assessment. However, instead of a concerted action, the current debate resembles a cacophony of diverging personal, institutional and curricular conceptions of financial literacy with many different purposes (e.g. knowledgeable consumers, acceptance of fiscal policy) and interest groups (e.g., politicians, consumer protectors, financial service providers), yet bearing the danger that not sufficiently reflected intentions may enter the classrooms. The roundtable aims to support the clarification of this debate by focusing on the following questions:
- What conceptions of financial literacy do exist and what specific characteristics do they have?
- Are these conceptions helpful with respect to educational purposes?
- How can diverging conceptions be made visible, and thus negotiable and/or reconcilable?
Four short paper presentations are foreseen:
Presentation 1:Financial literacy in the context of democracy (Davies)
This paper contrasts the prevailing individualistic approach of financial literacy measurement and financial education with an educational framework that seeks to equip young people to play an active democratic role and to develop a broader understanding of the financial world. In particular, the framework suggests how important dimensions of financial literacy may be addressed in terms of the individual, the financial industry and government.
Presentation 2:Students’ attitudes towards financial issues (Breuer)
Whereas financial literacy is mostly conceptualized as an issue of content knowledge, this paper discusses students’ attitudes towards money as another important factor to influence financial performance. More specifically, the development and validation of an assessment questionnaire will be addressed, and results from the validation study (e.g. item analyses, individual attitude profiles) will be presented.
Presentation 3:Curricular conceptions of financial literacy (Wuttke & Aprea)
This paper explores the question of how financial topics are already integrated into existing secondary level school curricula. Since curricula seem to vary to a large extend in and between countries, it specifically stresses the need for systematic curricular analyses. In this respect, the rationale as well as first results from a field trial of a respective analysis tool will be presented.
Presentation 4:Alternative approaches for exploring conceptions of financial literacy (Aprea & Wuttke)
Given the many-faceted character of financial literacy conceptions, it is reasonable to assume that their exploration requires multiple methodological approaches. Thus, this paper aims to give a synthetic overview of document analysis, self-assessment questionnaires and knowledge tests as prevailing research instruments. Moreover, two studies will be presented, that used competence-based tests and concept maps as alternative assessment devices.
INFE (2009): Global message on financial education and the crisis. OECD (2005): Improving financial literacy. Paris: OECD Publishing. OECE (2009): PIAAC Literacy: Financial literacy and consumer protection: overlooked aspects of the crisis. From: http://www.financial-education.org/dataoecd/32/3/43138394.pdf Reifner, U. (2006): Financial literacy in Europe. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft.
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