A Delphi study to recommend high school curriculum content and delivery methods for a unit on credit in financial literacy education
Hawkins, James Christian
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Financial education has seen an increased focus in recent years (Davis & Durband, 2008) following the initial JumpStart Coalition (Mandell, 1998) survey which showed high school students, on average, failed to understand basic financial literacy knowledge. Despite an increased focus on financial literacy education, high school students continue to fail when their financial knowledge is tested (Mandell, 2008b). In fact, when compared with students who have never taken a course, the average score for students who have taken a course in personal finance is lower (Mandell, 2008b). In the area of credit knowledge, one interesting fact is students who have credit cards in their name, score lower on the credit portion of the test compared with those who do not (Mandell, 2008b). To improve education in the area of financial literacy and specifically credit education, an evaluation of what should be taught and how it should be taught may prove helpful. This Delphi study surveyed a group of selected knowledgeable professionals for the purpose of gaining consensus on how credit should be defined, what content should be taught high school students regarding appropriate use of credit and how instruction of credit can best be delivered. Professionals who were bankruptcy court members, high school teachers, credit counselors, and college professors made up the panel. A three round Delphi study was conducted online using the Survey Monkey (www.surveymonkey.com) website. Beginning with ideas generated by the participants in Round 1, a list of necessary content items regarding credit education was generated. Additionally, the panel members did not agree with each other on many ideas that may be of marginal importance. With this information, curriculum writers and instructional designers have recommendations regarding the content that should be taught regarding credit along with instructional methods that can be used to deliver the content.