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RLPF Classroom FAQs

Why should a district offer and a student take RLPF-C?

Districts and Charter schools in Texas that educate high school students are required to offer a personal financial literacy course. For many reasons, most schools offer a course but do not conduct the course or encourage students to sign-up for it.

Most students state they want real-life education, courses which will prepare them for adulthood and the future. How is it possible that they do not connect the dots between what they want and a personal financial education course?

Everyone agrees that students need personal financial education. All of the data points to a generation not prepared to think and make wise financial decisions.

Real Life Personal Finance, offered as a flipped course, requires students to step up their game. The course should be taught so they independently process the content of each lesson and then the students work under your guidance to address the exercises in the lesson. The first part is for students to gain knowledge. The second part allows the student to think, problem-solve, work in teams to gain understanding.

Why offer a flipped classroom course?

High school students need to prepare for real-life. They need to be able to work independently to acquire knowledge and then work with teams of different cultures to solve problems. If attending postsecondary education, they must be prepared to study independently and also work in teams to gain understanding.

The traditional Texas classroom does not fully prepare students for being career and college ready. RLPF-C gives instructors and students an opportunity to develop the work habits necessary for success.

RLPF-C is organized so students independently read each lesson and then work on case studies, assignments, and videos, typically in teams, to gain a deeper understanding and learn how to think.

If you discover that students struggle with independent work, then you know they will significantly benefit from a flipped instructional methodology. No employer is going to read to them what they need to learn to do the job. No professor at an upper tier university is going to lecture to them what they should be able to read on their own.

Why select Real Life Personal Finance for the Classroom? Seven Reasons
  1. RLPF-C is written by award-winning financial professionals with forty years of experience in financial education.
  2. RLPF-C is updated annually. This saves teachers hundreds of hours of additional work trying to identify objectives, updated reference material, changing assignments and videos.
  3. With a legislative mandate, RLPF-C provides a 1/2 social studies credit.
  4. It is approved by the TEA meeting 100% of the TEKS and ELPS and accessibility standards.
  5. In addition to acquiring a deep-level of understanding of the subject matter, students are challenged to think, problem-solve, work in teams, make presentations and communicate with adults.
  6. Students develop a plan for their future and make changes now to secure postsecondary education and a financially secure future. This translates into outcomes for the district with more students graduating career and college ready, more attending PSE and more graduating from PSE.
  7. Students master Canvas Learning Management Systems. This LMS is frequently licensed by colleges and universities. Using it now is an excellent foundation for online learning.

If you plan on developing your own course, please recognize the time, energy, professional knowledge needed. If a teacher or department head truly had the knowledge, passion, and understanding to write this course, a career change should be recommended. The average income for a financial planner is about $150,000 a year.  D&A developed this course because we are a social impact entity with a mission – we want students to achieve their goals.

What is the role of a teacher in RLPF-C?

Unlike other high school courses where the instructor often conveys information by a lecture, in this course, the student is responsible for acquiring the information independently, much like a flipped course. A teacher is valuable because he adds real-life subject matter experience, asks challenging questions, evaluates presentations and students as they work in teams.  The student benefits when the teacher is a “student” of personal finance and is willing to learn from the publishers, from friends, and from students. The instructor should want to be increasingly more comfortable with a Socratic method of teaching – loves to ask relevant questions and have the student derive answers. Finally, we suggest a teacher be assigned who believes this course can teach all students how to think and change their future.

What support is available to teachers for professional development?

D&A provides an online PD course of study focused on personal finance subject matter. The publisher is collaborating with Rice University to create an on-campus Leadership training program focused on skills t reinforce a Thinking Instructional Methodology. The campus program is optional.

Additionally, D&A is desirous to support every teacher. We are available by phone and email.

Can a teacher add Activities to RLPF-C?
An instructor can integrate favorite activities into the class. That said, every TEK requires a knowledge and an activity component. Activities in Real Life have been integrated into the knowledge-based course materials. A brief explanation:
All Real Life Personal Finance courses utilize a modified “flipped” instructional format.  At the beginning of each lesson students independently master subject matter content, in the classroom, to gain knowledge. The next day, students gain understanding. They complete the activities – exercises, watch videos, work in teams, problem-solve, write essays, discuss case studies, and make presentations to demonstrate understanding and mastery of the TEKS.
We chose this instructional format since it closely resembles real-life after high school graduation.  In Real Life curriculum, a high level of critical thinking, problem-solving pedagogy is implemented which demands students to actively engage in their education. Learning how to think is essential if they are to be prepared for work or college.
While students are challenged to learn content, the instructor observes performance, asks questions, serves as a guide and takes notes on the SEL and academic challenges faced by each student. Because each student has completed the pre-course final, grit and perseverance, Holland interest assessment, course expectations, vision essay, and 10-year Life Plan, the teacher has valuable insight into how to guide the student to master real life and gain confidence and be able to contribute to the knowledge economy of the 21st century.
What should a district consider if developing its own Personal Financial Literacy course?
Three things – Expertise, Cost, and Blow Back
1. Expertise – A U of Michigan survey revealed that 80% of teachers lack the confidence to teach a PFL course. If the course developer happens to be in the 20%, what professional, experiential and academic credentials does the developer have? Like every academic subject, just because a person has an interest in an area, this does not make the person automatically qualified to develop or teach a PFL course. Why should standards be lowered in education for PFL?
2. Cost – If a district asks a person to develop a course, whether with original content, by copying potentially biased material from the internet, or by copying copyrighted content, this requires time. If your time doesn’t matter, then consider the cost of reproducing the material for your class. Real Life Personal Finance met 100% of the 186 TEK breakouts. Assume one page for content and one page for activities, one would need 372 pages. At 10 cents a page, the cost is $37.20. In addition, you have to write and grade quizzes. Compare to the cost of a license – $37/student.
3. Blow-Back or what can go wrong. When you use a third-party expert, who is providing unbiased, objective information, and encouraging students to think and consider many options, a district is protected. If you use course material that sounds good to the district developer but ends up being incorrect, like saying “home interest payments and property taxes are tax deductible”, who is responsible for this mistake? Just because it is educational in nature, doesn’t make the district or the developer exempt from blow-back.

Click on the topics for more information – Table of Contents, Frequently Asked Questions and Pricing. If you have more questions or wish to preview the course, please complete the CONTACT US form.