The Money Savvy Kids Curriculum: Changing Hearts and Minds

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This paper documents our first large scale use, in 2016-2017, of a pair of instruments rigorously developed and piloted during the 2015-2016 school year to validly and reliably measure elementary student attitudes and content knowledge about various aspects of financial literacy which the participants explored by participating in the Money Savvy Kids® program. This study draws upon results from a matched sample of 992 2nd and 3rd grade students from Washington State who took the content test prior to and immediately following participation in the program, along with 1268 2nd and 3rd grade students who similarly completed the attitude measure. Results from the content knowledge test indicated a sizeable (large effect size) gain in student knowledge on the test as a whole. Half of the attitude changes had small effect sizes, but attitudes towards investing changed with a large effect size, towards savings, with a medium effect size, and towards earning money also with a medium effect size, as in previous years, but this was the first study of this size at this age level with a demonstrably valid & reliable attitude measure. An unexpected finding is a possible relationship between the two measured attitudes that had the largest overall changes from pre to post-test, saving and investing money, and the two content areas having larger than average learning gains: saving and investing. We conclude having found empirical evidence that the Money Savvy Kids curriculum can provide the necessary knowledge and support and promote the desired attitudes that are a necessary pre-condition for informed and responsible financial behavior.

Eric A. Hagedorn and Mark C. Schug


Hagedorn, E., & Schug, M. (2022). The Money Savvy Kids Curriculum: Changing Hearts and Minds. Journal of Economics Teaching, 7(2), 130-146. DOI: 10.58311/jeconteach/0eebfd3cb97b718ed7cbcf953bc9be558d4cf570