Friday, August 8, 2008

Making Economic Education Fun

Occasionally, I have a student that stands out above the others with their desire to learn and to share what they’ve learned with others. One such student was Jack. Jack, when taking an introductory personal finance course from me, would send me links to interesting articles that he wanted to share.

Although he took the course several years ago, Jack subscribes to the Financial Tip of the Week and this weekend Jack sent me an email about an article he read in the Kansas City Star (attached). Within the article were links to sites maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank. I found the sites interesting, fun, and to be potentially very useful in engaging young people in learning more about our financial system.

The Federal Reserve Bank maintains a website dedicated to financial education with particular emphasis on teacher resources – for all levels of instruction. Link: . For the high school teachers in our readership, I particularly want to call to your attention the academic competitions; LifeSmarts, the Fed Challenge, Essay contests, and, in Missouri, the Missouri Personal Finance Challenge. These are excellent ways to engage your classes in learning, as well as providing opportunities to highlight your school.

For individual and classroom use, the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston maintains a website ( that has, approximately, sixty quizzes each with four to five questions that are quite interesting to read and to ponder the answers. The quizzes use subjects ranging from the “Music Industry and Sales” to “Ethanol” to “March Madness” as a way to teach economic principles – the root discipline of finance.

I often say that there is no shortage of good information on the subjects of personal finance but there is a huge shortage in readership. While I know I’m preaching to the choir, I encourage you to take advantage of resources such as those provided by our Federal Reserve System to help pave your road to Financial Success.

- Robert O. Weagley, Ph.D., CFP(r)
Chair, Personal Financial Planning
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

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