Teaching Foresight Through Hindsight

For all of us, the most powerful lessons we ever learned about money management were in hindsight.  They come from the stories we tell ourselves about what happened, and what the problem was. The lessons come from how we solved those problems, or, even more memorably, failed to solve them. The purpose of teaching financial literacy in school is to teach foresight—to teach students what they will need to know about financial management before they make memorable mistakes. But we know from research on learning, and, more specifically, from research on teaching financial literacy, that students learn from doing—just the way we did.

The case study method for teaching financial literacy is based on doing.  The method brings real life financial dilemmas into the classroom as unfolding stories. As a classroom approach, this was developed at the Harvard Business School by varying the Case Method used by the law school. At the law school, students analyzed cases that the courts had already settled. In contrast, the business professors wanted to put their students in the shoes of real people confronting real dilemmas. The cases presented here are faithful to the intent of those Harvard professors. They are often disguised accounts of a real dilemma and, while they illustrate principles of financial planning, as in real life, they rarely have one precise answer.

See an adaptation, available for download here, of John Hammond’s guide to learning by the case method.


Learning by the Case Method

Adapted from a guide developed by John Hammond
at the Harvard Business School

The case method is not only the most relevant and practical way to learn financial literacy skills, it’s also meant to be exciting and fun. But, it can also be very confusing if you don’t know much about it. This brief note is designed to remove the confusion by explaining how the case method works and then to suggest how you can get the most out of it. . . . [Download the PDF here.]

High school students learn how to be ‘good with money’

It’s difficult to interest 17- and 18-year-olds in lessons about spreadsheets and mortgages. Instead, the Cowin Financial Literacy program and Harvey’s Prairie View A&M students aim to give them examples more applicable to their lives, such as choosing between a public, private or community college or learning how to save up for a spring-break trip.
Read more at Houston Chronicle.

Letter to Participants, 2016 Summer Institute

Dear Educator,

We’re excited that you will be joining us July 11–14, 2016, for the Teachers College Cowin Financial Literacy Institute. The experience, a series of collaborative and interactive workshops on teaching personal finance, makes explicit connections to standards and curricula and will provide you with instructional tools and resources to support students in resolving financial dilemmas and making good choices about budgeting, saving, investing, consumption, and borrowing. At the end of the Institute you will have an opportunity to take the w!se Certification Test and, if you pass, to earn a certification in Personal Finance.

Thanks to the generous support of TC Trustee Joyce Cowin, we are able to offer this Institute at no charge. We hope you can join us for dinner that Ms. Cowin will host on Tuesday, July 12 at 6 pm (Location: TBD) with a reception at 5 pm in Jaffe Trustee Room.

Our program will begin at the Cowin Center at Teachers College, promptly at 9 am. The Cowin Center at Teachers College is located at 525 West 120th Street (between Broadway & Amsterdam). We hope that you will also join us for a continental breakfast at 8:30 am in Horace Mann 150, just down the hall from the Cowin Center.

We look forward to seeing you on Monday, July 11, 2016.

What You Have in Common With Bankrupt Pro Athletes

In April, Teachers College at Columbia University honored former NFL great Justin Tuck for his financial education advocacy through Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy foundation. In his acceptance Tuck explained how a $60 million contract could leave an athlete with just $5 million in a hurry. That’s easy to fritter away if the athlete is fixated on the bigger number.
Read more at Time’s MONEY.

TC’s Marri Advocates Transparency in Interview About Financial Literacy

Anand Marri, associate professor of social studies and co-designer of the Cowin Financial Literacy Program, a professional development program for teachers of financial literacy and personal finance, was interviewed by Tara Lynn Wagner of Time Warner Cable News’ Money Matters show, about the importance of starting financial literacy education very early in a child’s life.
Read more at Teachers College Newsroom.