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Australian Mathematics Teacher, v67 n3 p33-37 2011

There is persistent evidence of poor levels of financial literacy in a number of sectors of the Australian community. Young people, in particular, tend to fare badly in studies of financial literacy levels. A recent study commissioned by the Commonwealth Bank Foundation found that 16-25 year-olds constitute 42% of the bottom quartile, and only 4% of the top quartile in terms of their financial literacy (Commonwealth Bank Foundation, 2010). Yet it is this age group whose financial literacy skills can potentially be influenced through school education. It is not surprising that schooling is seen as an essential contributor to financial literacy levels, and that, given this evidence, more needs to be done. The advent of the "Australian Curriculum" creates an opportunity to meet the important challenge of lifting young people's financial literacy levels and mathematics can play a key role. The "Australian Curriculum: Mathematics" provides a platform to contribute significantly to the improvement of consumer and financial literacy levels among young people through the teaching and learning of mathematics. It will do this in two ways. Firstly, and most critically, it will ensure that key aspects of financial mathematics are taught. Secondly, by using financial contexts, it will enable effective learning of other mathematics in the curriculum. Mathematics embedded in the richness of financial contexts also helps build students' ability to "think and do" mathematically and strengthen their abilities in the broader General Capabilities. (Contains 1 table and 4 footnotes.)

Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Mathematics Education, Money Management, Knowledge Level, Consumer Education, Decision Making, Curriculum Development, Relevance (Education), Elementary Secondary Education

Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail: office[at]aamt.edu.au; Web site: http://www.aamt.edu.au

Author: Manuel, Kate; Morony, Will

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=1969&id=EJ943726

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