Assessing pre-service teachers' financial literacy: a case study

Year: 2013

Author: Zhao, Dacheng

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This research project aims to explore pre-service teachers' capability to use mathematics to make effective financial decisions. One of the goals in this project is to investigate how well-equipped the pre-service teachers are to prepare in mathematics education for future teaching of financial literacy to their students. Financial literacy is defined as understanding money and finances and being able to confidently apply mathematics knowledge to make effective financial decisions. Facing the world debt crisis and high unemployment rates, countries around the world have become increasingly concerned about the level of financial literacy of their citizens. In an effort to improve the financial literacy of all Australians, Australian government published National financial literacy strategy in 2011. The document recommends using educational pathways including financial literacy in the school curriculum, future education, adult and community education, and education in the workplace. It addresses the Strategy's top and immediate priority in the universities section is training of pre-service teachers and integrating financial literacy into all university schools of education programs. Although these strategies can provide practical guidance and instructional strategies to teacher education in Australia, until recently there has been little research attention to financial literacy education in the field of teacher education.  To fill the gap, this case study intends to explore financial literacy education for pre-service teachers at one Australian university by using a mathematics assessment and interview with pre-service teachers.