Iowa Core Curriculum: 21st Century Skills--Financial Literacy

As each Iowa student is provided access to essential concepts and meaningful learning experiences in the core academic content areas, it is imperative that we also look to 21st century skills to build capacity in students so they are prepared to lead productive, satisfying lives. According to Ken Kay, president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the 21st century skills set “is the ticket to economic upward mobility in the new economy” (Gewertz, 2007). Business and industry are providing a very clear message that students need the skills to “work comfortably with people from other cultures, solve problems creatively, write and speak well, think in a multidisciplinary way, and evaluate information critically. And they need to be punctual, dependable, and industrious.” (Gewertz, 2007).

The Framework for 21st Century Learning stated, “We believe schools must move beyond a focus on basic competency in core subjects to promoting understanding of academic content at much higher levels by weaving 21st century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects” (2007). 21st century skills bridge the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of students from the core academic areas to real life application.

“The primary aim of education is not to enable students to do well in school, but to help them do well in the lives they lead outside of the school.”
-Ray McNulty, ICLE
Iowa High School Summit, December 10, 2007

In the 2007 session, the Iowa Legislature established the Iowa 21st century framework as:
1. employability skills
2. financial literacy
3. health literacy
4. technology literacy

Within this 21st century skill framework are the common strands of learning and innovation; communication, information, and technology; and, life and career skills.

Iowa Core Curriculum Essential Concepts and Skills of Financial Literacy – High School
• Demonstrate financial responsibility and planning skills to achieve financial goals for a lifetime of financial health
• Manage money effectively by developing spending plans and selecting appropriate financial instruments to maintain positive cash flow
• Make informed and responsible decisions about incurring and repaying debt to remain both creditworthy and financially secure
• Evaluate and identify appropriate risk management options, including types of insurance, non-insurance, and identity protection
• Assess the value, features, and planning processes associated with savings, investing, and asset building, and apply this knowledge to achieve long-term financial security with personal and entrepreneurial goals in a global market
• Understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to financial literacy, and practice legal and ethical behavior

Primary Elementary Grades – Being Developed
Intermediate Elementary Grades - Being Developed
Middle School Level - Being Developed