Financial Literacy

Financial literacy should be part of everyone's education today, begining in school. It gives self confidence and enables one to take hold of one's destiny, at the same time as providing a means of navigation and orientation in life. Much depends, however, on the ethos, whether competitive Darwinism or associative – using one's capacities to meet the needs of others. This is a main project of the Economics Conference as reported on here in English, GermanPortuguese and Spanish.

Note: 'Financial literacy' is variously translated or described – for example, as 'education' or 'competence' – depending on the habits and connotations of the terms in different countries and cultures. Here, 'literacy' is used because it is an allusion to reading and writing a language – in this case the universal language of accounting. It is not about today's financial system in any doctrinal sense. It also refers to a path or process, rather than a programme.

Mainstream Research
The Economics Conference provides a locus for research into the nature and consequences of financial literacy in terms of mainstream academic work with a focus on policy thinking. For example:

Three Kinds of Money – Rudolf Steiner and the Development of Monetary Economics
MPhil, Arthur Edwards, University of Buckingham, England (2005)

Money as Accounting: Historical and Theoretical Issues
Masters, Fionn Meier, University of Friborg, Switzerland (2018)

Money is Bookkeeping – the key to effective financial literacy
OECD Paper, Christopher Houghton Budd & Fionn Meier (2018)

Classroom-based 'Action' Research
This work backgrounds classroom-based 'action' research into the teaching or, better put, imparting of financial literacy to different groups and different ages. These are being documented as case studies for the ideas set out in 'In the Shoes of Luca Pacioli – Double-entry Bookkeeping and Financial Literacy.' In International Handbook for Financial Literacy, Springer, Berlin 2016:

– Waldorf schools* (up to 18 years) (see flier Associative Financial Literacy and Waldorf Schools)
– non-Waldorf schools (up to 18 years)
– out-of-school courses for disadvantaged students
– tertiary education
– adult education (over 18 years)

* It is important to point out that, while Waldorf schools are often the venue for this work on account of their particular approach to education, financial literacy is a universal thing, as indicated by the broad range of 'cases' mentioned above.

Associate!  Special Edition on Youth Financial Literacy. This has been produced as a reportage on the October 2020 Seminar at the Goetheanum (see flier).

Further developments in this area include a dedicated website, associative financial literacy where the aim is to engage active teachers in both school and informal settings to share and elaborate together how they approach this topic in their different situations.