• FiCycle Math Research

    Demonstrating the efficacy of teaching math and finance in an integrated curriculum.

As a mission-driven non-profit organization, FiCycle is committed to promoting best practices in education. Central to our mission, we undertake research into effective mathematics and finance education. Our research demonstrates the efficacy of teaching math and finance in an integrated curriculum and guides us in the creation and implementation of our educational program. Below, read the latest research supporting the FiCycle approach.

We also conduct additional research into further topics relevant to improved teaching and learning. You can find our latest published papers and working papers here.

FiCycle Research Overview

We believe that taking a course combining high school algebra with personal finance will improve the quality of students’ mathematics education and their financial education. Our experience shows, and research affirms, that mathematical knowledge and financial knowledge are mutually reinforcing. In this paper, we present an overview of the research that supports our beliefs. We discuss the student learning we have measured after taking such a course, broader research on the benefits of financial and mathematical education, and evidence for the enhanced learning and deeper understanding students attain when taught these subjects in an integrated fashion.

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Latest Research

The Finance and Mathematics Examination (‘FAME’)
FiCycle Working Paper Series

We believe that there is a need to create an assessment that measures the relationship between a person’s financial and mathematical knowledge. We created the Finance and Mathematics Examination (or “FAME”) as a response to this problem. There exist assessments that test either financial literacy or mathematical knowledge in isolation but not, previously, one that looks at the two together. We believe that knowledge in these two areas is closely related, and so FAME is an important research instrument.

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Best Practices in Financial Education: Incorporating Mathematics
Consumer Interests Annual, 2020

There is a pressing need for improved financial knowledge across the US population. Research has shown that financial education programs can be an effective solution to this problem. A crucial project is to increase our knowledge of best practices in financial education, in order to maximize the benefits participants in future courses receive. One important dimension of this project is understanding the role of mathematics in a high-quality personal finance course. We present results from a study in which a sample of high-school students were assessed on both financial and mathematical knowledge, before and after taking a course that combined mathematics and personal finance. We find compelling evidence that mathematical learning is connected with improved financial knowledge.

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FiCycle Standards for Finance and Mathematics
FiCycle Working Paper Series

Our overarching goal at FiCycle is to promote high-quality finance and mathematics education. In deciding how to do this we are guided by five key principles. In this paper, we elaborate on these principals and show how they lead us to theFiCycle standards for a course in the mathematics of personal finance. We discuss the financial and mathematical theory behind these standards, before laying them out in full at the end of the document.

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Combining Financial Education with Mathematics Coursework: Findings from a Pilot Study
Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 2019

In this paper, we summarize the results from a pilot of a course in finance and mathematics, and demonstrate how it is motivated by recent research, despite being a type of course that has so far not been studied thoroughly. We then present the results of our preliminary impact assessment, and show how financial knowledge and confidence improve significantly after taking the course. We discuss how this indicates that such an approach is a promising strategy for improving financial outcomes.

Full Paper (Penultimate Draft)                  Published Version

How Have High School Students Experienced the Transition to Remote Mathematics Learning
FiCycle Working Paper Series

In Spring of 2020, many US students switched to remote learning in response to theCOVID-19 pandemic. A key research question is the extent to which best practices in remote education are being followed currently, and to the extent they are not, what can be done to remedy this. Given its key role in influencing future success, students’ experience in remote mathematics education is of particular significance. To answer this, we conducted a survey of US high school students at the end of the 2020 school year soliciting their thoughts on remote learning in mathematics. We used this data as the basis for qualitative analysis. Our results strongly suggest that in order to improve students’ learning experiences in the future, we must increase opportunities for both student to teacher interactions and student to student interactions.

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