3 QUESTIONS | 3 MINUTES
We asked Valeriia Hulkovych, research assistant at the University of Göttingen, 3 questions on the interlinkages between economic and financial literacy and civic education, on useful tools for educators and what this has to do with the war in Ukraine. Here are her answers:
1. In what ways are the economic aspects of the war in Ukraine connected to civic education in the rest of Europe?
“The war in Ukraine has significant economic implications that are closely linked to the need for civic education in the rest of Europe. The conflict has disrupted trade and investment flows, causing economic instability and uncertainty. Additionally, sanctions imposed on Russia by the West have had an impact on the European economy, prompting the need for new trade partners.
The war has also diverted resources away from other areas, including education and social welfare, as military spending has increased. Civic education can help individuals and communities understand the trade-offs involved in allocating resources during times of conflict. It can also promote transparency and fairness in the allocation of resources, including the importance of investing in education and social welfare. By fostering a deeper understanding of these issues, civic education can help communities advocate for a more equitable distribution of resources and hold policymakers accountable.
Moreover, the conflict has resulted in a significant increase in internally displaced persons and refugees from Ukraine, which has put social and economic pressure on host communities. Civic education can promote higher tolerance and understanding of the economic aspects of supporting refugees and migrants.”
2. How are economic and financial literacy linked to civic education?
“Economic and financial literacy are essential components of civic education as they provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate effectively in society. The European Commission has recognized the importance of economic and financial literacy, developing initiatives to promote financial education among citizens. Similarly, in Germany, economic and financial literacy are considered crucial components of civic education, with various measures being implemented to promote financial education among citizens. For example, financial education resources are provided to schools, and financial education programs for adults are supported.
Research by Schulz et al. (2020) shows that individuals with higher levels of financial literacy are more likely to participate in political activities and have confidence in political institutions. This demonstrates that economic and financial literacy can contribute to a more informed and engaged public, which is essential for the functioning of democratic societies.
To sum up, economic and financial literacy are critical components of civic education. They enable individuals to participate effectively in society and promote a more informed and engaged public. Although there have been attempts to recognize the importance of financial education, more efforts are still needed to ensure that citizens have access to the necessary knowledge and skills to participate effectively in the economy and democracy.”
- European Commission. (2018). Financial education and financial literacy framework: Proposing
policy solutions to Improve financial education and financial literacy in the European
Union. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/financial-education-and-
- European Financial Education Platform. (2023). About us. Retrieved from
- Federal Ministry of Finance. (2019). National strategy for financial education. Retrieved from
- Schulz, J., Schmitt, M., Schmidt-Catran, A., & Stark, J. (2020). Financial literacy and political
participation: Evidence from Germany. Journal of European Social Policy, 30(3), 266-282.
3. Which civic education tools are effective for teaching economic and financial literacy?
“Several civic education tools have been found to be effective in teaching economic and financial literacy. These tools include curriculum integration, financial literacy programs, games and simulations, service-learning, and financial literacy competitions. Studies by D’Alessio (2018) and Hargreaves & Fullan (2012) have tested these tools and found them to be effective.
Curriculum integration involves incorporating economic and financial literacy topics into existing civics curricula. This approach can increase students’ understanding of the interdependence of different subjects (Grohmann et al., 2019). Financial literacy programs that focus on practical skills such as budgeting and investing have also been found to be effective (D’Alessio, 2018). Simulation games, such as those used in Oberle et al.’s (2018) study of civic education, are engaging tools that allow students to apply studied material interactively.
Service-learning projects and community-based financial education initiatives have also been found to be successful in increasing student understanding and engagement (Grohmann et al., 2019). Finally, financial literacy competitions, such as quizzes or business plan competitions, are short and easily understandable (Ibid).
Given the great variety of tools available in the field of civic education, educators should consider using a combination of these to engage students and increase their economic and financial literacy. By using a mix of tools, educators can create a more dynamic and effective learning environment that appeals to students with different learning styles and interests.”
- D’Alessio, F. (2018). Improving financial literacy in high school students: A review of the
literature. Journal of Education and Practice, 9(28), 107-116.
- Grohmann, A. K., Kauffeldt, J., & Hoose, A. (2019). Economic education at school: A systematic
review of interventions. Journal of Economic Psychology, 70, 36-55.
- Hargreaves, A., & Fullan, M. (2012). Professional capital: Transforming teaching in every school.
Teachers College Press.
- Oberle, M., Ivens, S., & Leunig, J. (2018). Effects of EU simulation games on secondary school
pupils` political motivations, attitudes and knowledge – results of an intervention study.
In P. Bursens, D. Gijbels, V. Donche, & P. Spooren (Eds.), Simulations of decision-making
in political science (pp. 145-164), Heidelberg u.a.: Springer.
THE CIVICS would like to thank Valeriia Hulkovych for her time and valuable insights!