Questions were raised at a PV Board meeting earlier this year, about the state of financial literacy/consumer education in Victorian schools. Board members considered this area an important priority and wanted to know what is being taught in schools. So we asked the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). Here (in part) is their reply:
The lifelong capabilities of financial numeracy and literacy are well recognised in the Victorian F-10 Curriculum, as well as in the senior secondary curriculum. Within the Victorian F-10 Curriculum, one of the six key principles underpinning the Economics and Business curriculum is Consumer and Financial Literacy.
As such, consumer and financial education is an integral component of the Victorian school curriculum and a wide range of resources are available to schools when developing teaching and learning programs.
There are therefore significant opportunities for teaching of Consumer Education / financial life skills within the Victorian Curriculum Economics and Business Levels 5- 10.
The curriculum offers flexibility for teachers to develop a teaching plan that reflects the interests and needs of a particular student cohort.
Victorian students are introduced to basic economic concepts essential to economic decision making and thinking at levels 5 and 6. The concept of economic scarcity and the need to develop sound decision making skills leads into personal budgeting and consumer literacy skills. Students are then encouraged to consider the wider impact of their economic decision making.
At Levels 7 and 8 the concept of the market is explored with a focus on how consumers, can influence the operations of a market. Government influences on the economy including Australia’s taxation system and how consumers are protected by consumer law. The rights and responsibilities of both businesses and consumers are covered. Budgeting and financial literacy skills ,(banking, insurance and superannuation) are also included.
At Levels 9 and 10 the links between Australia’s economic performance and living standards is considered. There is also opportunity to study marketing and public relations strategies used by businesses. Through this an awareness of how behaviours as a consumer may be influenced as a result will develop.
Throughout levels 5 to 10 Victorian students should, develop skills and knowledge in consumer and financial literacy that equip them to be able to function as financially literate and independent citizens.
Full VCAA reply
You can read the full reply from the VCAA in this document.
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