Economist, Federal Reserve Board
Areas of Research Interest: Consumer Finance, Health Economics, and Public Economics
The Center for Financial Security recently completed an evaluation of My Classroom Economy (MCE), an innovative approach to financial education. In contrast to more traditional financial education programs based around lesson plans, MCE is experiential. Teachers establish a classroom-based economy that integrates into the school day as a classroom management system. Research suggests that this type of experiential approach is a promising teaching strategy, with the added benefit of minimizing time away from other classroom activities.
During the 2015-2016 school year, 24 elementary schools in the School District of Palm Beach County, FL participated in the evaluation. Students in MCE classrooms show consistent gains in financial knowledge, budgeting, financial socialization, and economic experience after 10 weeks. These effects range in size but are all statistically significant and positive. Overall, the results of this study are encouraging and highlight the promise of experiential learning programs like MCE for elementary school–age students.
Presentation slides from the September 21, 2016 webinar are available to view.
A supplementary guide discusses the Center’s development of the survey measures used in the evaluation.
The evaluation was performed under contract TOS-14F-0028 for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Final results of the My Classroom Economy are available at go.wisc.edu/5vxlz5. This brief presents early findings that are updated in the final report and brief.
This brief highlights early findings from the Center for Financial Security’s evaluation of the My Classroom Economy (MyCE) financial education program. MyCE is an experiential approach to teaching financial knowledge and skills. Students learn financial lessons through direct experience: they earn classroom “dollars” for jobs they perform, use this currency to pay rent for their desks, and are subject to bonuses and fines as determined by their teacher. Materials are available free of charge from myclassroomeconomy.org.
The Center for Financial Security has been working with the School District of Palm Beach County to evaluate the program in 113 classrooms across 24 schools during the 2015-2016 school year. This brief highlights results from student, parent, and teacher surveys.
The evaluation is funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Empowerment Innovation Fund (performed under contract TOS-14F-0028). My Classroom Economy is underwritten and made freely available by Vanguard.
Their article, “Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Financial Education on Elementary School Students’ Knowledge, Behavior, and Attitudes,” appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of the Journal of Consumer Affairs. The winner will be announced at the American Council on Consumer Interests annual meeting, to be held June 8-10 in Washington, D.C.