A Wealth of Knowledge: Pearson's Personal Financial Literacy Provides Students Essential 21st Century Skills

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Innovative High School Curriculum Includes Web Component, MyFinLitLab™.

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In this time of economic upheaval, the concept of financial literacy affects virtually every aspect of our lives, and the many personal financial decisions we make have a lasting impact that we often fail to see

When it comes to Financial Literacy, a large number of today's high school students need an education stimulus.

High school seniors answered just 48.3 percent of the questions correctly on the Jump$start Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy's 2008 survey. Only three states require at least a one-semester course devoted to personal finance, while 30 states have no requirements at all. As the economic crisis continues to escalate, it is increasingly imperative that financial literacy becomes an integral part of a 21st Century education.

The recently released report from the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy states: "research shows that teens and young adults do not know enough about personal finance…most students still graduate from high school without any formal classroom training in [the subject]. Key to improving the financial literacy of all Americans is ensuring that our young people have more exposure, at all stages of their educational journey, to formal financial literacy training."

Pearson's new Personal Financial Literacy program, launching in March 2009, provides the basic tools and knowledge that high school students need to make informed financial decisions.

Written by the team of Jeff Madura, K. Michael Casey, and Sherry J. Roberts, Personal Financial Literacy is fully correlated to all relevant national and state standards, and meets state and local standards for personal financial literacy education as defined by the Jump$tart Coalition and the National Business Education Association Standards. The program is available in two formats - as a 15-chapter single volume or in four individual student edition units: Financial Responsibility and Decision Making; Income and Careers; Spending and Credit; and Savings and Investing.
Purchase of the single-volume textbook grants access to MyFinLitLab™, the fully integrated homework and tutorial system that offers textbook problems online, algorithmically generated values for more practice, partial credit, personalized study plans, and an online grade book.

Other innovative program features include a 30-day Personal Finance Journal, to help students record their daily spending; Check Your Financial IQ, which lets students self-assess their mastery of key concepts and each chapter's Learning Objectives; and a Personal Financial Literacy Workbook which provides additional assessment opportunities, including vocabulary checks, math checks, and open-response questions.

Personal Financial Literacy also includes end-of-chapter problems developed by Working in Support of Education (W!SE), an educational nonprofit dedicated to providing educational support services nationwide to build financial literacy. The problems are modeled after the types of questions found on the W!SE Financial Literacy Certification Exam.

"In this time of economic upheaval, the concept of financial literacy affects virtually every aspect of our lives, and the many personal financial decisions we make have a lasting impact that we often fail to see," said co-author Roberts. "Personal Financial Literacy is a practical, highly accessible guide to financial awareness which intersects with a variety of other curriculum areas, including math, social studies/economics, career and technology, and consumer science."

"(Personal Financial Literacy) has pizzazz, is visually attractive, is user-friendly for students that function on a variety of levels, and explains a difficult topic with ease," said Patricia Wheatley, a Family and Consumer Science teacher at Turkeyfoot Valley Area High School, in Confluence, PA.

"The learning objectives and openings tie into the chapter and offer the students a chance to relate terms and competencies to real life situations that many of them have been in or will have had happen to them in the future," said Monica Edwards, a Personal Finance teacher at Greene County High School in Leakesville, MS.

"I think the chapter special features are very effective and appropriate for high school students. They offer a means to challenge the students and also provide a means of interest to all levels as many students enjoy being creative and working with computers," said Kay Roberts, a math teacher at Red Springs High School in Red Springs, NC.

For more information, visit http://www.pearsonschool.com/personalfinance.

About the Authors
Jeff Madura is the SunTrust Bank Professor of Finance at Florida Atlantic University. He has written several textbooks, including Personal Finance. His research on international finance has been published in numerous journals, including Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Journal of Financial Research, Financial Review,
Journal of Multinational Financial Management, and Global Finance Journal. He has received awards for excellence in teaching and research and has served as a consultant for international banks, securities firms, and other multinational corporations. He has served as a director for the Southern Finance Association and Eastern Finance Association, and also served as president of the Southern Finance Association.

K. Michael Casey is the McCastlain professor of finance and chair of the department of Economics, Finance, Insurance and Risk Management (EFIRM) at the University of Central Arkansas. He has a doctorate in finance from Louisiana Tech University and has served as a media consultant for Active Learning Technologies Inc. He has published over 70 refereed journal publications in such journals as The Financial Review, The Journal of Computer Information Systems, The Review of Business Information Systems, Real Estate Review, The Journal of Property Investment and Finance, The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, the Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, and the Journal of Lending and Credit Risk Management. Dr. Casey is also a Registered Investment Advisor Representative for Mustard Seed Financial, LLC, a fee-only financial planning firm.

Sherry J. Roberts has been teaching for 23 years. She taught 14 of those years as a business education teacher at the secondary level. Dr. Roberts currently teaches at Middle Tennessee State University in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. Her presentations include international, national, regional, and state levels on the subjects of instructional technology and business education. As a consultant for Roberts Educational Consultants, Dr. Roberts provided professional development in instructional technology, writing portfolios, open response, and business education. She has also been an instructor with the University of Central Arkansas Insurance Education Institute and Personal Finance Institute. Her doctorate is from the University of Louisville in Curriculum and Instruction.

About Pearson
Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today's digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. This commitment is demonstrated in the company's investment in innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. The company's respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, PEMSolutions, Stanford 10, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker and many others. Pearson's comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson's commitment to education for all is supported by the global philanthropic initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to http://www.pearson.com.

Rod Granger


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