Montessori Australia partners with Raiz Invest to improve kids’ financial literacy

Montessori Australia partners with Raiz Invest to improve kids’ financial literacy

Montessori Australia (MA) is actively working towards filling the gap in financial literacy education, supported by Raiz Invest, this Financial Literacy Month.

Montessori Australia’s Director of Education Services Mark Powell said there was currently no comprehensive and engaging financial education in Australian schools, and young adults often struggled with banking, mortgage and other practical life decisions.

“Building confidence in finance and money management is a fundamental life skill. Our team is developing a new financial curriculum for the digital age, using a hands-on approach to learning, for which Montessori education is world-renowned,” Powell said.

“Montessori adolescent students typically run micro businesses as part of their high school curriculum. We also offer a range of games and hands-on learning tools for younger students to learn to manage currency. However, Montessori education, until now, has not really addressed financial literacy in the wider sense, nor the new realities of digital currencies and investment.

“We look forward to building on the past and improving the future by providing an experiential curriculum that grounds Australian students in the important practical realities of managing all aspects of their future financial lives in this new and evolving digital financial age. Not only does it benefit each individual student in their financial journey, but helps to grow the wealth of the country, boosting Australia’s financial standing globally.”

Raiz Invest Joint-CEO Brendan Malone said he was a passionate advocate of helping children improve their financial literacy from a young age, and hoped to see every Australian create their own diversified portfolio of investment with the right know-how.

“Education and understanding are key to gaining access into financial markets,” Malone said.

“We believe Montessori Australia’s expertise in developing curriculum should be put to good use to improve financial education in schools, so we are delighted to sponsor their financial literacy project.

“Raiz’s success as a savings and investment platform in Australia and Southeast Asia is largely due to our efforts to educate and empower customers with financial knowledge, so they can confidently and easily engage with us online, and feel comfortable in taking charge of their financial decisions.”

Malone added that work was underway to develop an app so school students could practise making investment decisions in a safe, simulated environment too.

Powell said that MA would coordinate rolling out the new curriculum to schools with an emphasis on practical, hands-on applications that brought the skills that children and young people needed to be financially literate.

“We are seeking schools to take part in the pilot launch of the financial curriculum before making it available to schools across Australia,” he said.

“Our focus on concrete learning is how Montessori schools across the world have allowed young children to learn concepts that are typically not learned by children in traditional environments until much later on.”

Montessori education has produced some of the world’s most innovative thinkers, including Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, among others. Brin and Page have publicly attributed some of their outside-the-box thinking to their Montessori education.