The education system has a vital role to play in preparing young people to take their place as informed, engaged, and knowledgeable citizens in the global economy. Financial literacy education can provide the preparation Ontario students need to make informed decisions and choices in a complex and fast-changing financial world.
Because making informed decisions about economic and financial matters has become an increasingly complex undertaking in the modern world, students need to build knowledge and skills in a wide variety of areas. In addition to learning about the specifics of saving, spending, borrowing, and investing, students need to develop broader skills in problem solving, research and inquiry, decision making, critical thinking, and critical literacy related to financial issues, so that they can analyse and manage the risks that accompany various financial choices. They also need to develop an understanding of world economic forces and the effects of those forces at the local, national, and global level. In order to make wise choices, they will need to understand how such forces affect their own and their families’ economic and financial circumstances. Finally, to become responsible citizens in the global economy, they will need to understand the social, environmental, and ethical implications of their own choices as consumers. For all of these reasons, financial literacy is an essential component of the education of Ontario students in a twenty-first century context – one that can help ensure that Ontarians will continue to prosper in the future.
Resource documents – The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 4–8: Financial Literacy Scope and Sequence of Expectations, 2016 and The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9–12: Financial Literacy Scope and Sequence of Expectations, 2016 – have been prepared to assist teachers in bringing financial literacy into the classroom. These documents identify the curriculum expectations and related examples and prompts, in disciplines across the Ontario curriculum, through which students can acquire skills and knowledge related to financial literacy.