Grade Levels: High School
finEDge is designed to highlight what students need to learn and the ways they learn best. Through a modular approach, the program offers structure and flexibility for teachers, allowing them to emphasize the modules that are most relevant for their students. The program provides many opportunities to gather information about students' understanding, measure their progress, and inform teacher instruction.
Students develop an understanding of financial well-being and create a vision of what it means to them. As students progress through each of the 7 modules, they add to and refine their visions and create goals to move toward them. Each module includes a cumulative project that provides students with the opportunity to synthesize key concepts and practice the financial decision-making process.
The backbone of the finEDge program is the Teacher Guide, designed to provide teachers with easy-to-use lessons organized by module. Lessons include teacher notes, differentiation suggestions, and assessment tips.
The Student Workbook is a student resource containing learning activities, informational text, and homework assignments. Additionally, the Student Workbook contains the elements of each module's cumulative project, including assignment sheets, rubrics, and graphic organizers.
Additional components include the Teacher Handouts, posters, and digital materials.
Module 0 - Financial Decision-Making in Context
Module 0 is the first module students complete. It is different from all other modules in that it does not address a specific financial domain, but provides students with the basic foundation for financial decision-making. The analytical framework students learn n Module 0 is revisited and applied throughout the program.
This module starts from a personal (“me”) and slowly extends outward to examine the external factors – relationships, risk and uncertainty, and economic and environmental factors – that influence an individual’s financial options and decision-making. This framework helps students conceptualize what they can and cannot control and thus helps demonstrate the value of decision-making.
Module 1 - Saving & Spending
Module 1 addresses the financial domain of saving and spending, providing students with the foundational knowledge, skills and tools needed to make well-informed saving and spending decisions. Students explore the following key questions:
Content covered in Module 0 is also revisited and woven throughout.
Module 2 - Borrowing
Module 2 addresses borrowing, providing students with the foundational knowledge, skills and tools they need to make well-informed decisions around borrowing. Through exploration, students identify the relationship between lender and borrower, and the impact creditworthiness can have on financial well-being.
In Module 2, students learn about the information, products, tools and resources they need to effectively manage borrowing to meet their personal goals. Additionally, students cultivate an understanding of the motivations of the financial institutions that provide those things. Students will explore which products and services best meet their credit and borrowing needs. Content covered in Module 0 is revisited and woven throughout.
Module 3 - Earning
The principal focus of this module is earning and income. Earning is income received in exchange for work performed. Such income can help one meet personal goals and achieve financial well-being. The earning landscape fluctuates and shifts due to changes in the economy – including those caused by globalization and technology and social factors.
Through exploration, students will assess personal factors and research systemic factors that can help them make beneficial earning and income decisions. This module will explore the idea that employers are willing to pay more for workers with needed skills and education.
This module also acknowledges that not all people are able to work, and although, one may work and earn income, one may still rely on income supports, such as public benefits, to meet one’s financial obligations.
Module 4 - Investing
The focus of Module 4 is investing. Investing is spending or setting aside money today with the expectation that the investment will yield more money in the future. Through exploration, students will learn how investing can help them save money or provide them with additional income to meet personal goals in the future especially retirement. Students will also explore the role of risk, and ways in which money can be lost through investing.
This module will help students cultivate an awareness that there are ways to actively and passively invest that draw on tools from financial institutions.
Module 5 - Managing Risk
Students begin Module 5 by exploring risk management strategies – avoid, assume, reduce and transfer – in a general sense and applying them to managing certain kinds of financial risk. The module progresses by having students focus on transferring risk and the role that insurance – both mandatory and optional – plays in this strategy. In addition, students will consider the “players” they will encounter as they enter the insurance landscape.
Finally, students will focus on consumer options and rights surrounding insurance and their effective use. Students will apply their knowledge, tools and resources to research, comparison shop and evaluate insurance plans to protect their financial well-being. This module will help students cultivate awareness of the requirements for different types of insurance, the costs and benefits of insurance as well as other risk management strategies or combinations or strategies and different tools and resources to make informed decisions.
Module 6 - Financing Post-Secondary Education
Module 6 explores the benefits, cost and means of financing post-secondary education. The lessons progress along a pathway similar to that which students follow in pursuing post-secondary education: from exploring options to financing to repaying student loans. Students begin the module by exploring types of post-secondary education and considering the benefits and costs of such education. As the module progresses, students explore tools for financing post-secondary education and strategies for managing spending while attending school. The module concludes with students considering various aspects of loan repayment.
Throughout the module, students employ knowledge gained in previous modules. Students draw on their understanding of budgeting concepts from Module 1 and of decision-making around education and earning from Module 3. Students apply understandings from Module 2 regarding the basic structure of loans, terms that impact the total cost of a loan and the potential positive and negative consequences of different debt-repayment habits.