Fachhochschule Kaiserslautern / UAS Kaiserslautern (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 771-778
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
The complexity of financial products increased substantially over the past decade. In addition financial risks have been transferred to households. So pressure and responsibilities on the shoulders of financial consumers have risen enormously. As most consumers only have low levels of financial literacy, they are not equipped to handle their increasing financial responsibilities. A OECD survey even shows that financial illiteracy has worsened the financial crisis. [1] Supranational entities like the World Bank, OECD and the EU-Commission claim that financial education must be increased in broader classes of population to reach a better use of financial services products. [2] The EU-funded Comenius project “Financial Education – Levering the Implementation Efficiency in Schools” targets to foster the implementation of financial contents in compulsory schools. The curricula of these schools have been analysed in Germany, Austria, Belgium and Latvia. In most of the regions subjects like “Economics” are only offered in commercial schools but not in general compulsory schools. Pupils’ knowledge concerning financial issues is rather poor. As most young people are realizing the necessity of financial knowledge they are willing to improve in this field. The survey of John shows that 70% of adolescents in Germany want to be informed about financial issues at school. [3] The implementation of new subjects in schools is a drawn out process. As the improvement of financial knowledge is a short term issue the consortium of the above named EU project proposes to include financial topics in different existing subjects. Friebel and Kaminski introduced the competence model for financial education. They define four relevant fields: “use of money”, “handling of life risks”, “asset and retirement management” and “use of loans”. [4] According to this model three specific examples that speak to the needs of young people have been chosen in the project: “purchase of a mobile phone/tablet/PC”, “clothes, leisure and vacation” as well as “career and future perspectives”. [5] Teaching material for these examples is being developed, pilot project days will soon be realized by teachers in general compulsory schools. To ensure the sustainability of the project school managers will be informed and trained in additional workshops.

(1) OECD (2009), Financial Literacy and Consumer Protection, Overlooked Aspects of the Crisis, OECD Publishing, p. 8.
(2) Reifner, U. (2011): Finanzielle Allgemeinbildung und ökonomische Bildung, S. 19, in: Retzmann, T. (2011): Finanzielle Bildung in der Schule. Mündige Verbraucher durch Konsumentenbildung, Schwalbach/Ts.
(3) John, K. (2013): Jugendliche und junge Erwachsene (15–24 Jahre). Wachsendes Qualitätsbewusstsein der jungen Generation, pp. 44-51, in: SCHUFA Holding AG (2013): SCHUFA Kreditkompass 2013, Wiesbaden
(4) Kaminski, H./Friebel, S. (2012): Arbeitspapier Finanzielle Allgemeinbildung als Bestandteil der ökonomischen Bildung, Department of Education, University of Oldenbourg, p. 41.
(5) Uedl, K./Mestel, R. (2013): Putting Financial Education into work, FH Joanneum Gesellschaft mbH, Graz/Austria, International Conference. The Future of Education
(6) Comenius Project Information:Financial Education – Levering the Implementation Efficiency in Schools. Project Contract No: 527060-LLP2012-AT-COMENIUS-CMP
Comenius, compulsory schools, EU, financial literacy, school project.