Consumer and financial literacy: Year 8

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The diverse circumstances in which children grow up influence their needs, wants, perceptions and behaviours related to financial and consumer matters. Typically, at age 13 to 14, young people are given more responsibility as their roles in family and social life widen, and they begin to independently plan for challenges associated with their unique circumstances. Their financial responsibilities widen to cater for their needs as well as wants. They may earn money in diverse ways, such as informal work, through gifts, by trading with others and using technology in enterprising ways. Adult regulation of online activity may continue to lessen, and young people may be participating increasingly in online consumption of information, services and/or goods. As media exposure and peer pressure intensify, young people’s evolving independence and identity are commonly expressed through consumer choices, in particular through popular culture. With more choice comes risk – financial, social and emotional. Thus, young people start to plan how they manage their money. As they experience consequences of their choices, they consider more abstract factors that influence their decisions.

The Australian Curriculum in this year level supports the development of all dimensions of consumer and financial literacy as shown in the diagram below.

Approximate proportion of dimensions addressed in Year 8

Typically, at this level, students learn about the concept of profit and loss and appreciate the importance of planning for financial success. They investigate why markets are needed and the role that governments play in the economy, including in allocating resources and distributing wealth. They develop an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as consumers and workers and those of businesses, including generating income and paying taxes, complying with legal obligations and taking steps to ensure online security.

Students have developed knowledge, understandings and skills and are able to apply these to a range of consumer and financial contexts. They explore factors that shape personal identity and explain the sociocultural factors that influence consumer behaviour and financial decisions. They interpret, analyse and evaluate a range of persuasive and finance-specific texts and products, reflecting on authorial intent and the validity and credibility of information. They use efficient mental and written strategies and appropriate digital technologies to solve increasingly more complex business and financial problems, including those involving profit and loss. They analyse, manage, manipulate and present relevant data and information in a range of appropriate formats. Students practise safe, ethical and responsible behaviour in online and digital consumer and financial contexts. They apply enterprising behaviours to investigations and real-life enterprises including collaboratively identifying opportunities and challenges, planning and managing individual and team projects, setting goals, generating ideas and alternative solutions, applying business knowledge, and choosing strategies for action. They make informed consumer and financial decisions using a range of strategies, including cost-benefit analysis. When making their decisions, students consider a range of factors such as social context, beliefs and values, ethical perspectives, safety, sustainability, risk and personal goals.

Moneysmart for teachers provides a number of interdisciplinary units and interactive activities that support the teaching and learning of consumer and financial literacy at this level. Access a list of relevant resources that link to the Australian Curriculum using the right-hand menu.

The ATO’s Tax, Super and You resource also offers a number of digital interactives and modules. This resource has been designed flexibly so that teachers and/or students can choose to focus on one or more, or all, of the digital interactives and activities within each module. Access a list of relevant resources that link to the Australian Curriculum using the right hand menu. See how each digital interactive and activity aligns with the Australian Curriculum in this year level.


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