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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

  1. 1. TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION..............................................................................1 1.1. PREAMBLE....................................................................................................................1 1.2. RESEARCH CONTEXT......................................................................................................3 1.3. PROBLEM STATEMENT....................................................................................................6 1.4. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.................................................................................................7 1.5. THE RESEARCH QUESTION..............................................................................................7 1.6. RATIONALE...................................................................................................................7 1.7. SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY.................................................................................................8 1.8. ASSUMPTIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY.................................................................8 1.9. DEFINITION OF TERMS....................................................................................................9 1.10. OUTLINE OF THE REMAINDER OF THE DOCUMENT...........................................................10
  2. 2. CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1. Preamble In Canada, in the last decade, financial strategists at bi-cameral levels of government have relentlessly strived hard to establish a link between investor success and economic prosperity. To successfully implement this plan, Federal and Provincial Government of Canada have introduced many tax incentives and saving benefits to risk tolerant investors (Tax Act, 2005). The Province of Ontario in particular has actively followed a wealth creation fiscal policy to encourage the earning public to invest with the objective to swell individual retirement savings and to broaden province’s economic prosperity (Budget papers, 2003). Consequently, now, more than ever, financial literacy has become a persuasive economic goal for Canadians. To support this need and to facilitate the financial industry demands for astute investment professionals (Exchange, 1998), the Ontario universities and colleges have revised their credit, and non-credit curses in the degree, diploma and certificate programs to include financial studies. Kelly, McDougall, Lander, Cartmale, Borel, and David-Wilson (2002) strongly believe that to reap the benefits of a vibrant global economy, it is important to increase investor knowledge and skills in wealth management (WM) at high school level. They helped to compile the “Taking Stock in Your Future Guide, Senior 2002” curriculum, which is a professional development program in wealth management for teachers. Williams (2003) at the Investor Education Fund, concurs that a sound understanding of the basic principles of money management and investment is quickly becoming a survival skill in the 21st century.
  3. 3. Beyond the needs of the current investors, Williams adds that the Ontario's next generation is challenged to increase their financial literacy at the high school level. In addition, Williams states that teachers will be the most influential conduits to help kids understand the importance WM knowledge and skills for their financial security (www.investored.ca). Williams also highlights the detriments of not having subject teachers proficient in wealth management concepts to teach across the curriculum. To introduce a wealth management program of studies at the high school level, the Investor Education Fund conducted a professional development seminar for Ontario high school teachers in the ‘Summer of 2003.” The program was taught in-class for three days, from August 18 to 20, by an instructor from the Continuing Education Faculty at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) with the approval of the Ontario Ministry of Education. The objective of the specially designed program is to provide an understanding about teaching and learning of wealth management to high school teachers. The interdisciplinary resource material is presented in two-parts: “Fair Play Curriculum Tools”’ and the complementary “Taking Stock of Your Future-Senior 2002” guide. The material is coherently organized and articulately presented in layman terms with series of activities and practical exemplars to help teachers’ to integrate wealth management concepts across the curriculum. It augments fundamental professional knowledge and skills expected by the investment industry (CSI, 2001). Moreover, the curriculum is structured to bridge the gap that exists between what students learn from units sparsely spread across the high school curriculum in subjects, such as, accounting, civics, economics, mathematics, and law, (Program & Diploma Requirements, 1999). 2
  4. 4. Even though, the material is specifically designed to provide teachers’ with a broad understanding of the subject, and the in-class CPD sessions were conducted to empower high school teachers with a repertoire of curriculum units in WM, yet, to date, literature does not show significant research had been carried out to examine the success of the program. To fill this void, and to outlay this doctoral thesis, the study investigated secondary schoolteachers’ perceptions and their in-class experiences about teaching a wealth management unit in the classroom after completing the professional development program in WM. 1.2. Research Context Canada, like many other countries reaped the benefits of the explosive global financial markets (Flaherty, 2004). The Ontario government has actively encouraged the investing public’s unprecedented interest in wealth creation by introducing stimulating fiscal and monetary policies (Ontario Budget, 1996, 2003). To safeguard the investor, financial regulators, such as, OSC (www.osc.gov.on.ca), Canadian Securities Administrators (www.sedar.com), Investment Funds Institute (www.ific.com), and Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (www.osfi.ca) have introduced stringent compliance standards. The directives are to protect investors from negligent misrepresentations and fraudulent scams, and also to ensure proper corporate performance reporting, and investment management accountability (CIMA, 2004; IFSG, 1996; Van-Alphen & Daw, 2004). Consequently, in the last decade, industry professionals have scrambled to gain a sound understanding of WM principles and practices for corporate governance (CFA, 2000; IFIC, 2001; Hayward, 2004). 3
  5. 5. At the same time, many academic researchers have continually focused on the need for in the last decade (Leithwood, Fullan, & Watson, 2003). Until 2003, the Ministry of Education in Ontario continued to focus mainly on student achievement in language and mathematics (CESE, 1996; Guidance & Career Education, 2000; SAIP, 1998; SAIP 2001; PISA, 2002). But, a quick and easy wealth creation frenzy - a phenomenon psycho-analyzed as ‘irrational exuberance’ by Alan Greenspan and explicitly explained by Shiller (1994, 2001) – has generated tremendous enthusiasm among high school students’ to increase their financial literacy (Flaherty, 2004). Yet, traditionally, at high schools, financial studies have not been a popular elective for graduation (Phillips, 1957; Program & Diploma requirements, 1950/99). But, partial curriculum units spread across several subjects provided students unstructured and scattered knowledge and skills in financial literacy (e.g., Business Studies, 2000; Canadian & World Studies, 2000; Mathematics, 2000; and Social Sciences and the Humanities, 2000). In 2002, the Ontario Ministry of Education recognized the need to fill this void by introducing the Interdisciplinary Studies Course (2002). The elective allows students to integrate relevant curriculum units from different courses to create distinct holistic subjects. The new curriculum gave schools the flexibility to accommodate students’ with special interests, such as, in new advances in technology and wealth management (Choices Into Action, 1999; Council of Universities, 2004; Royal Commission for Learning, 1994). The long awaited recognition of the need for financial literacy in schools is a step to honour Ontario’s irrevocable commitment to prepare high school 4
  6. 6. graduates who will be able to succeed in the rapidly changing wealth creation economy with astute financial literacy (Phillips, 1957). The Interdisciplinary Studies (2002) curriculum allows schools to intertwine specific units from several courses and to integrate these into a unique credit course (e.g., wealth management). Yet, schools scarcely made use of this facility to concatenate curriculum units to create a specialized course in wealth management, largely due to lack of instructional resources, and the shortage of teachers with in-depth knowledge of the subject (Cohen & Hill, 2002). To address this deficiency, the Ministry of Education introduced the specialized Financial Securities course (IDC4U) a Grade 12 university level optional course. Also, approved the Investor Education Fund complied professional development program in wealth management as a resource for all high school subject teachers. The WM program is in two parts: “Fair Play Curriculum Tools” designed by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (www.CFEE.org) and the Investor Education Fund. The complementary “Taking Stock of Your Future: Senior 2002” guide is a compendium of six lessons developed with the concurrence of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) in collaboration with the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT), and financed by the Investor Education Fund, a not- for-profit institution, affiliated to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). The curriculum units in “Fair Play” focuses on business ethics, citizenship, and consumer protection, while “Taking Stock of Your Future” guide provides activities and exemplars, especially in financial mathematics, economics, and business accounting. The program is designed to provide teachers with a repertoire of activities and exemplars to 5
  7. 7. increase teachers’ pedagogical skills, which can be used to help students to “gain insight into the challenges and opportunities offered by the modern economy (Guidance & Career Education Curriculum, 2002, p.3). Overall, the program acts as a guide to show teachers’ how to transform the acquired knowledge and make it accessible to high school students to increase their literacy in WM (Ashton, 1996; Ball, 2000; Ball & Cohen, 1996). 1.3. Problem Statement To date, many teachers have enrolled in the in-class WM program to empower themselves to teach wealth management principles and concepts across the curriculum (www.investored.ca/en/aboutus/pressreleases/pressrelease_archive/MSE976_47.html). Pervious studies show that feedback is an important component of teaching and learning as it provides a strong means to perceive the results of learning activity (Gagne, 1970). McKeahie (1976) found “more feedback given, the more learning results” (p. 824). Bloom (1976) stress the need for feedback “for it can reveal errors in learning shortly after they occur … before they are compounded” (p.315). On completion of the studies, teachers provided feedback by responding to the course evaluation question: To what extent have you integrated the curriculum units in the subjects you teach? Yet, reports indicate that the answers have been too scanty to make a strong determination as to teachers’ strong understanding of the subject (www.investored.ca/en/teacherresources/2003_oame_agenda.pdg). 6
  8. 8. 1.4. Purpose of the Study To help fill this void, the study carried out an in-depth investigation to determine secondary school teachers’ perceptions about teaching and learning of WM. The study examined how high school teachers integrated the repertoire of activities and exemplars provided in the WM education program. Specifically, the study addressed the needs of stakeholders who are interested in designing and developing curriculum to teach wealth management in secondary and post-secondary institutions. 1.5. The Research Question What do secondary school subject teachers say about their perceptions and experiences regarding teaching and learning of wealth management? To help answer the question, participants were asked a series of questions through one-on-one, face-to-face interviews and through online communication (Appendix D). 1.6. Rationale In the year 2003, the Ontario Ministry of Education hastily - without a properly developed curriculum - introduced the Financial Securities (IDC4U) as a Grade 12 elective under the Interdisciplinary Studies Course. The teachers of this course are recommended to use the Investor education developed Wealth Management program as a supplementary resource material in addition to the Ministry published teaching guide. Then again in 2005, the Investor Education Fund announced a “new partnership with the University of Western Ontario to provide Ontario teacher candidates with the educational resources they need to teach youth about investing and money management (www.investored.ca/ en/aboutus/pessreleases /pressrelease_archive /MSE976_65.html. 7
  9. 9. Given, the increase in demand for the Investor Education WM program from high schools, universities, and teacher education institutions, it is imperative stakeholders (e.g., the Ministry of Education, Investor Education Fund, OISE/UT, Secondary School Teachers, and the University of Western Ontario) have access to rich research data on what the teachers say about resource materials and the in-class sessions. 1.7. Significance of Study The study provides stakeholders’ an insight to teachers’ reported understanding of WM and their experiences in applying activities and exemplars in the classroom. The research findings provide stakeholders with in-depth information to make informed decisions as to how best wealth management resources need to be structured to work with and within the teacher education program, and within the high school Interdisciplinary Studies (2002) curriculum. 1.8. Assumptions and Limitations of the Study The main assumption is that any external research carried out at present mainly through teachers who teach the Financial Securities Course (IDC4U) does not completely reflect the views of subject teachers across the board. The two major limitations are; First, a geographical limitation, of the twelve the research participants, nine were mostly from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the other three were from two large cities with high academic interest in wealth management studies. Second, the material is mainly geared for use in a few specialized course units (e.g., accounting and mathematics). Due to the limitation of external validity - that is, reliability and validity based on data from 8
  10. 10. few geographical locations and subject specializations - the findings should not be generalized to the whole of the teaching population in Ontario (Silverman, 1997). 1.9. Definition of Terms A number of terms used in this document are either specific or general to this study. These terms are defined for clarity. Activities/Tasks: to problem solve; understand the concepts, apply procedures, and communication of these concepts across the curriculum. Compulsory Courses: designed to provide all students with the essential knowledge and Skills they need to function effectively in any area of activity. Corporate Governance: is the process and structure used to guide and direct business affairs of a corporation (www.csi.ca) Document Literacy: knowledge and skills required for locating and using information contained in various formats, such as, maps, tables (CESC, 1996). Electives: optional courses that gives the student an opportunity to acquire specialized knowledge. Exemplar: Samples of student work or performances that demonstrate different levels of achievement, to help teachers to understand curriculum expectations or a criterion for assessment (Ontario Curriculum, 2002; eslinfusion.oise.utoronto.ca). Financial Literacy: the capacity to identify, to understand, and to engage in well founded judgments as needed for personal and business investment (Halpern, Weston, & Brigham, 1994). Global Economy: economic development is related to acquired skills, technology, & 9
  11. 11. capital, and all countries do not have similar resources, nor is any one country self-sufficient (Psacharopoulos & Woodhall, 1985). Literacy Domains: prose, document, & quantitative competence (IALS, 1996). Portfolio: a collection of multiple securities, including value of investment (Weston & Copeland, 1986). Prose Literacy: ability to comprehend any written text such as editorials news stories, poems, or fiction in expository or narrative form. (http://nces.ed.gov/naal/defining/measprose.asp) Quantitative Literacy: knowledge and skills required for applying arithmetic operations, either alone or sequentially (CESE, 1996). Wealth Management: to maximize wealth of its investors, described as the discounted values of future growth of net assets (Copeland & Weston, 1979). 1.10. Outline of the Remainder of the Document Chapter 2 reviews the literature. Previous studies researched include: Ontario program and diploma requirements, high school curriculum, Fair Play Curriculum Tools, and Taking Stock of Your Future: Senior 2002 guide. Chapter 3 outlines the methodology of the research. Subjects covered include: research design, approaches and sampling procedure; instrumentation, interview procedure; data collection, recording, organization and analysis; and ethical considerations. Chapter 4 presents the findings in textual format. Chapter 5 provides a summary, a discussion, a list of recommendations, and implications in theory, practice, and for future research. 10

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