Consumer and financial literacy
Curriculum Connections resources for consumer and financial literacy identify content in the Australian Curriculum that supports the development of consumer and financial capability in young people. They provide links to units of work and interactive activities that assist teachers in their planning and delivery of high-quality teaching and learning programs.
There are strong connections between consumer and financial literacy and the Australian Curriculum. Consumer and financial literacy provides a number of engaging and authentic contexts from which to deliver the Australian Curriculum. The Australian Curriculum offers rich opportunities for interdisciplinary approaches that support the development of consumer and financial literacy in young Australians. Consumer and financial literacy features explicitly in Mathematics and Humanities and Social Sciences.
Within Mathematics, the number and algebra content strand includes money and financial mathematics as a sub-strand. In other areas of the Mathematics curriculum, students learn to accurately make computations and check results; interpret numerical, graphical and other information; and construct and use financial models to help make financial decisions.
Within Humanities and Social Sciences, consumer and financial literacy is one of four key organising ideas in Economics and Business. Here, students explore how making responsible and informed decisions about consumer issues, money management and assets can affect the individual’s and the community’s quality of life, sense of security and awareness of future options.
There are also connections to consumer and financial literacy in other learning areas and in the other dimensions of the Australian Curriculum – the general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities.
The purpose of this curriculum connection is twofold. It is designed to:
- guide teachers in identifying content in the Australian Curriculum that supports the teaching and learning of consumer and financial literacy
- connect teachers to a range of interdisciplinary resources that have been developed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (MoneySmart Teaching) and the Australian Taxation Office (Tax, Super and You) to support the teaching and learning of consumer and financial literacy.
As shown in the figure below, some Australian Curriculum learning areas and general capabilities more comprehensively support aspects of consumer and financial literacy than others, while the three cross-curriculum priorities provide relevant contexts for consumer and financial education.
Representation of consumer and financial literacy in the Australian Curriculum
Content linking to consumer and financial literacy has been identified and selected for relevance. However, there are broader opportunities for students to learn about and develop skills in consumer and financial literacy throughout the Australian Curriculum. Schools and teachers are encouraged to identify opportunities and create learning programs that will meet their students’ needs and interests. Since what goes on in the real world is essentially interdisciplinary, teaching programs that develop consumer and financial literacy can weave content from all dimensions of the Australian Curriculum in ways that are authentic and meaningful.
In an increasingly complex, globalised and rapidly changing world it is critical for every young Australian to not only be able to cope with life’s challenges but also to flourish as financially literate and enterprising citizens in the 21st century. All young people need opportunities to develop financial and enterprising capabilities that enable them to successfully and confidently operate in a complex, information-rich financial world. Developing consumer and financial capability in young people is a strong investment in Australia’s social and economic prosperity.
The figure below shows the application of consumer and financial capability in a range of contexts for a range of purposes.
The role of the Australian Curriculum in consumer and financial literacy education
The Australian Curriculum has an important role in supporting young people to develop consumer and financial literacy. Its three dimensions of learning areas, general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities are designed to develop successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens. Preparing financially capable school leavers involves all three dimensions. Through the learning areas and general capabilities, students develop the awareness, knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that are necessary to make sound consumer and financial decisions and ultimately achieve individual financial wellbeing. The cross-curriculum priorities provide a rich context for learning about and applying consumer and financial literacy.
The Australian Curriculum supports students to develop the three dimensions of learning that underpin consumer and financial education in the Australian context:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Competencies and skills
- Responsibility and enterprise.
These dimensions are interrelated and enable students to be informed in consumer and financial matters; to have the skills to apply to real-world consumer and financial situations; to be able to make informed and effective decisions that have a positive impact on themselves, their families, the broader community and the environment; and to develop enterprising behaviours.
Through the inclusion of consumer and financial education in teaching and learning programs from an early age, students can maximise their development of the behaviours, values and dispositions required to successfully apply their knowledge and skills in a range of contexts and for a range of purposes. Students develop capability when they apply knowledge and skills confidently, effectively and appropriately in complex and changing circumstances, in their learning at school and in their lives outside school. Through learning experiences based on the Australian Curriculum, young people will be equipped to apply these capabilities in ever-widening contexts – personal, local and global, lifelike and real-world, individual and collective, now and in the future. They will also be equipped to think about short-, medium- and long-term needs and solutions, and consider possible, probable and preferred futures, collective and personal.
This Curriculum Connections resource provides multiple pathways for educators to access information and resources to support or create learning experiences and educational programs that meet their unique circumstances. Content in the Australian Curriculum that supports the development of consumer and financial literacy can be viewed by:
- year level
- learning area
- general capability
- cross-curriculum priority.
This enables teachers to access the most relevant pathway through which to view consumer and financial literacy in the Australian Curriculum.
The year level, learning area and general capability views of this resource are each organised by the three interrelated dimensions of consumer and financial literacy: knowledge and understanding, competencies and skills, and responsibility and enterprise. Together, these dimensions of learning equip young people with the knowledge, understanding, skills, dispositions and values to make informed, effective and responsible consumer and financial decisions now and in the future. These dimensions also prepare young people for the economy of the future by teaching them to be enterprising in the face of challenges and opportunities.
While this resource provides a consumer and financial literacy lens through which to view the Australian Curriculum, it is teachers who will bring consumer and financial education to life in their classrooms. Schools and teachers can draw on the curriculum to create teaching programs and learning experiences that weave together the different dimensions of the Australian Curriculum in innovative, engaging and meaningful ways.
This portal supports teachers to deliver integrated learning experiences by linking to relevant resources developed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (MoneySmart Teaching) and the Australian Taxation Office (Tax, Super and You). Links to relevant resources are provided for each year level, learning area, general capability and cross-curriculum priority. In this respect, this portal provides teachers with both the content and resources that support the teaching and learning of consumer and financial literacy.