Our Research

We are committed to promoting best practices in education. A central part of our mission is undertaking research into effective mathematics and finance education. This guides us in the creation and implementation of our educational program. Below are a selection of our research projects. 

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Combining Financial Education with Mathematics Coursework: Findings from a Pilot Study

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.

Executive Summary      Full Paper (Penultimate Draft)

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The Connection between Mathematical and Financial Knowledge*

Recent research has suggested that there is a connection between mathematical knowledge and financial literacy. We present results from a study that investigates whether this provides a new opportunity for improving financial knowledge and financial outcomes. A sample of high school students were assessed on both financial and mathematical knowledge, before and after taking a course in mathematics and personal finance. Analysis of the results suggests a correlation between mathematical and financial knowledge in high school students, and that a course combining finance and mathematics is an effective method of improving proficiency in both areas.

*In progress: draft available upon request.

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Financial Education and Conceptual Understanding: Learning from Best Practices in Mathematics*

Best practices in mathematics education require building conceptual understanding alongside procedural skill. We argue that financial education would benefit from adopting this strategy. Conceptual understanding is required to adapt to changing financial technology. In addition, research demonstrates that procedural skills are better remembered if they are coupled with conceptual understanding. Therefore, such understanding is required if the financial skills learned in school are to be retained and applied in adulthood. We show how current financial literacy curricula do not emphasize conceptual understanding, and demonstrate how this can be rectified through a focus on the financial life cycle.

*In progress: draft available upon request.

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Harnessing Spreadsheets: Effective Use of Technology in Mathematics*

It is widely acknowledged that the use of technology is an important component of mathematics education, but also that the use must be appropriate in order to be effective. In addition, recent research suggests that spreadsheet software is equipped to be a particularly fruitful application of technology in the mathematics classroom. This paper aims to increase our understanding of the role of spreadsheets in mathematics education and connect their use more explicitly to research surrounding best practices. First we present a research-informed theoretical argument for the value of spreadsheets in mathematics education. Second, we outline a strategy for incorporating spreadsheets within the high school mathematics classroom through a lesson series on retirement savings.

*In progress: draft available upon request.