Learn about the St. Louis Fed’s economics and personal finance education program through the eyes of their educator advisory board.
Watch a short video as 3- and 4-year-olds get a taste of personal finance education, and see what parents have to say about starting so young.
Below is a full transcript of this video. It has not been edited or reviewed for accuracy or readability.
Links within the transcript are to our online resources and other information as indicated. Also, explore the filter at stlouisfed.org/education to find even more resources. It may be necessary to scroll down the page slightly to view the filter results.
Narrator: Every teacher seems to have a favorite resource from the St. Louis Fed for teaching economics and personal finance. Listen, as members of one of our educator advisory boards talk about the resources that are top on their lists.
Patrice Bain: Being a middle school teacher, if I should google economics, chances are there's not going to be too much for middle school, and so to have a site where you can just put in, middle school, and all of these wonderful resources pop up, I'm saving a lot of time.
Rodney Gerdes: The annual AP conference in June is just a fantastic event. You have Federal Reserve economists explaining the basic level economic content in more detail and depth and answering questions, and they are there for you. A lot of them will eat lunch with you.
Betty Porter Walls: My students are in love with the Federal Reserve Bank as much as I am.
Vicki Fuhrhop: The educational resources that the St. Louis Federal Reserve provides for educators isn't just for the economics or the personal finance teacher, it's for all teachers, because so much of what is produced can be implemented across the curriculum in all the different classes.
Betty Porter Walls: We can show that it's easy to correlate mathematics with their English lesson, with their writing lesson, with their speaking lessons, and show young people, beginning at kindergarten or below, how to begin the process of learning how to budget, not just to count money, but how money has its particular value and how it can be used.
Vicki Fuhrhop: I love the videos with the questions and answers, and the students get an instant feedback on their answers, so if they're doing it independently they know if they got the answer right or wrong. And I really like the app, the Econ Ed mobile app—and especially the flashcards, because nowadays the students are always carrying around their smartphone, and that's a way that they learn, so what I had found with the flashcards is that it's something they can carry around with them and be practicing all the time and a format that they're familiar and comfortable with.
Rodney Gerdes: So a gap that I find that students have is data literacy, basically being able to take data, make sense of it into some sort of cohesive argument. So the St. Louis Federal Reserve manages FRED, which is the Federal Reserve Economic Data, and it's tons of data that students can get into, see, manipulate the presentation of.
Patrice Bain: Another resource that I really like from the Fed are those dealing with decision making [see The Art of Decisionmaking and Once Upon a Decision]. It's great for middle school age to start realizing they want to be empowered, and they want to start having some responsibility, and so it's good to be able to present information that really helps them learn how to make decisions and how those decisions can impact what they do with money.
Betty Chism: I think a lot of students have a misconception of credit cards and debit cards, and the Federal Reserve has good lessons that can differentiate and help them learn about that. I also like the budgeting unit that they have. It helps them learn about budgeting, savings, which they need to learn as early as possible.
Narrator: And what do the students have to say about their personal finance and economics lessons? And, what about their parents?
Vicki Fuhrhop: That's rewarding when students come back and they tell you that everything they learned in class that they're using, or even currently, when a student will walk in with a debit card and they say, "I have my first debit card, and now I'm not scared to use it because you taught me how to manage it the right way," or a student says, "Yeah, I looked at my paycheck the other night, now I understand what all these deductions mean," or, "I went home and I asked my parents about my auto insurance because I really didn't understand what kind of auto insurance I had." So, then you know the students are listening, and they're going home and they're asking those questions, and they're becoming educated consumers.
Betty Chism: I have had parents say that their students came home and was teaching them about budgeting and how they had to pay these bills and how they had to do different things.
Rodney Gerdes: My parents are always amazed their kids are taking AP Econ, because they were scared to death of the class in college themselves. They're just amazed the kids are performing in the class and talking about things at the dinner table that they couldn't believe their high school kid's talking about.
Betty Porter Walls: It is truly a service to education that the Federal Reserve provides to us, and for those of us who know it, we believe it, and we appreciate it, and I think we need to spread the word to some other folks.
Narrator: Check out our resources at www.stlouisfed.org/education.