High-Quality Professional Development: A Pillar of Effective Financial Education

August 25, 2022

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Like teaching itself, financial education is an ever-evolving field. Delivery of effective financial education requires the skills needed for effective teaching, up-to-date financial knowledge, and an understanding of students and the diverse communities to which they belong. How can high-quality professional development support teachers in meeting these requirements?

By navigating complex subject matter. The world of finance is vast and complicated. World events, economic conditions, advances in technology, a steady stream of new financial products, and changing rules and regulations all impact financial education content. Further, for many teachers, this is new content, as many are teaching financial education as a new course or in addition to the main subject area that they teach. High-quality professional development provides instruction on current and reliable financial content.

By translating research into practice. High-quality professional development is built on a foundation of research about best practices for the skills needed for effective teaching. The demands of teaching can make it challenging for teachers to access and integrate such a broad range of current research into their practice. High-quality professional development can provide this critical support to teachers.

By instilling confidence. Teaching financial education means talking about money, and talking about money is uncomfortable or unfamiliar for many people. High-quality professional development gives teachers the confidence they need to have these conversations.

By building a professional community. Financial education teachers are often the only ones at their school teaching this subject. High-quality professional development provides opportunities for teachers to connect with colleagues in order to learn and grow from each other. Teacher leaders can share practical strategies. Teachers can find much-needed time and space to both reflect on their current practice and find inspiration to grow.

By encouraging reflection about personal finance. Financial education is somewhat unique in its applicability to teachers’ own everyday lives. Learning up-to-date financial information and effective financial practices facilitates teacher reflection on their own financial decision-making. High-quality professional development provides teachers with the opportunity to reflect on their own finances.

High-quality professional development for teachers is essential to providing effective financial education for students. Not only can it support teachers in guiding students in their acquisition of vital tools for navigating adult life, it can also facilitate teachers’ growth as impactful educators.

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