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Consumer and financial literacy for Indigenous learners

20 April 2017

A new teaching resource is helping to build the consumer and financial literacy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

In 2016 the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) engaged ACER to develop a consumer and financial literacy resource for teachers to support authentic and meaningful learning for Indigenous students. The resulting resource, Knowing Growing Showing, was launched in March 2017 as part of National Close the Gap Day.

Knowing Growing Showing aims to improve personal, family and community financial wellbeing among Indigenous learners through customised materials that are aligned to the Australian Curriculum, ASIC’s MoneySmart program, and the National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework.

The resource includes scenarios, lesson ideas and assessment rubrics. It also includes a set of 11 videos to support professional development for teachers, a literature review and a translational research paper. The resources have been tailored to incorporate Indigenous histories, cultures and values into consumer and financial literacy in order to give learners confidence and meaning.

The emphasis within Knowing Growing Showing is on ‘stages’ of learning rather than ‘ages’ of learners. The three learning stages presented are:

  • Knowing – an introduction to the basics of money;
  • Growing – developing an understanding of money and the skills needed to make smart choices with money; and
  • Showing – engaging students in applied learning to demonstrate an understanding of money.

Knowing Growing Showing adopts an embedded approach, in recognition of the fact that finding time within a curriculum of competing priorities can be a challenge for teachers. The lesson guides therefore allow teachers to couple consumer and financial literacy with other subjects, such as arts, music and technology.

In order to ensure that the resource connects with and builds upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural and community values, histories, world views and lived experiences, Knowing Growing Showing has been led and developed by and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and experts, in consultation with state and territory education departments.

Knowing Growing Showing utilises best practice and focuses on a whole-of-life, constructivist and inquiry-based approach to learning. It is learner centric, adaptive and culturally contextualised, making it relevant, practically orientated and in line with the needs of those most at risk because of financially illiterate patterns of behaviour. As a result, Knowing Growing Showing provides targeted educational interventions across the Foundation to Year 10 curriculum, in preparation for transition into the real world, where young people will encounter the financial complexities and realities of adulthood.

Launching the resource, ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour explained, ‘Adults face decisions about complex financial products and services, and having the right skills and knowledge to understand financial concepts, such as budgeting, saving and managing debt, will support their financial wellbeing.’

‘Part of ASIC's commitment to Indigenous Australians is to help them grow their financial capabilities in school so they are better prepared to make confident and informed financial choices,’ Ms Armour said.

University of Canberra Professor of Education, Chris Sarra, has welcomed the new resource.

‘Knowing Growing Showing is an excellent resource that integrates Indigenous perspectives across the curriculum without compromising the integrity of what needs to be learned. The resource is based on learning in the classroom that is anchored in students’ experiences with money,’ Professor Sarra said.

Find out more:
Knowing Growing Showing is available on ASIC’s MoneySmart website.

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