An evaluation of the Missouri public high school personal finance course graduation requirement: is there a transfer of knowledge?
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This researcher performed an evaluation of the Missouri public high school personal finance graduation requirement. Sophomore, junior, and senior students at a Missouri public high school were given a pre-test and post-test consisting of 31 questions related to financial literacy topics. The students consisted of treatment group that was completing a personal finance class and a control group of students taking other business classes. The testing instrument used was the Jumpstart Coalition Survey of Personal Financial Literacy and the 31 questions were broken into four sub-scores within the realm of financial literacy (income, money management, credit and spending, and savings and investing). The study showed that the treatment group had a statistically significant difference between the pre-test and post-test in the areas of money management, credit and spending as well as the overall score with the post-test scores being higher than the pre-test scores. There was also a statistically significant difference in the knowledge gained between the treatment group and the control group in the area of credit and spending as well as the overall score. There were no statistically significant differences in knowledge gained found in the demographic areas of gender, socioeconomic status (measured by how students paid for lunch), or grade level. These findings help support the idea that the current personal finance class is working across all demographics in most areas of financial literacy and could be implemented as a model for other school districts. Future research in this area should consider various items such as expanding the sample base, performing a longitudinal study, and considering the effects of age on one‟s ability to comprehend financial knowledge.
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