Waikato Journal of Education


financial education
financial literacy
financial wellbeing
financial capability
curriculum development

How to Cite

Goldingham Newsom, J. (2021). Financial education is in need of a shake-up: Three guiding reorientations. Waikato Journal of Education, 26(2), 21–35. https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v26i2.829


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a rethink of many areas of our society. Financial education should be no exception. Based on the assumptions of 20th century neoclassical economics, and not catering for cultural, social and ecological considerations in our purchasing decisions, the New Zealand offering of resources to teach financial wellbeing are lacking in several key areas. I expose the gaps in the current approach by discussing the financial reality for many people in New Zealand. I propose three reorientations towards financial education based on 1) changes to people’s current financial situations and financial prospects; 2) changes to our understanding of the importance of ecological and social factors in purchasing decisions, and the role of cultural factors in access to financial products; and finally, 3) developments in our knowledge of how we make decisions. I conclude that a new set of assumptions should be adopted, and that educators commit to preparing our young people for a future of both financial instability and change, and financial wellbeing and success, encouraging them to define their own success measures individually and in their communities.


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