UT Extension receives grant to assess personal finance classes

The project will involve conducting a needs assessment in collaboration with Tennessee educators responsible for teaching personal finance to students.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee requires successful completion of a single personal finance course for high school graduation.

The requirement has been in place for graduating high school students in Tennessee for nearly a decade, and now a team with the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is embarking on a rigorous two-year study to examine critically important characteristics. As with financial education, it takes place in the classroom.

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This study is funded by a $207,377 grant from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation).

The project, “Listening to Learn,” will provide insights to increase the effectiveness of high school personal finance courses that provide young people with the knowledge and skills to better manage their resources.

The project will involve conducting a needs assessment in collaboration with Tennessee educators responsible for teaching personal finance to students. Information collected included the resources and curriculum teachers are currently using, teachers’ views about personal finance education and students’ reactions to classes, teachers’ perceptions of financial issues facing their students, challenges in teaching the classes, and actions that could be taken. will come To improve financial education.

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The study will look closely at high-poverty schools and how financial education in such schools compares to more affluent high schools. The study will also examine approaches to financial education for students with special needs.

The information gathered will inform strategies to support the efforts of financial educators in Tennessee and beyond. Additionally, the study methodology will serve as a springboard for similar research in other states.

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The project’s principal investigator, Ann Berry, is a UT Extension professor of family and consumer sciences.

“This project and the generous funding from the sponsoring organizations will help our team better understand the landscape of personal finance instruction in Tennessee high schools,” Berry said. “This information is critical to developing resources and best practices related to financial education for youth.”

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