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February 18, 2012

Episode 47: Professor Emerita Meets Elmo

Posted in: budgets,Educational programs,games,interviews,introduction,resources

Who can resist Elmo, even when teaching Financial Literacy? Photo of Professor Holden at Sesame Street

That was the brilliance behind the plan when the Sesame Workshop contacted Karen Holden, Professor Emerita of Public Affairs and Consumer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ms. Holden was one of six advisers invited to discuss with Sesame Workshop what the fundamental lessons are for very young children in Financial Literacy – lessons that could be and should be taught to preschool children, especially from diverse families and communities. These six experts produced a body of professional content and opinion to inform Sesame Workshop in Financial Literacy.

What a great way to help youngsters grasp fundamental concepts of Financial Literacy Sesame Workshop developed!

And… maybe there will be some fabulous discussion in their families as they ask questions….

Links related to this episode:

“Karen Holden advises Sesame Street financial education initiative” (Article) – University of Wisconsin – Madison News (Online Magazine) http://www.news.wisc.edu/19344

(Recommended by Karen)
The National Endowment for Financial Education

After the interview, Karen shared the following links and information concerning the piece that led Sesame Workshop to contact her:

“I suspect Sesame Workshop found the following, the final report of the first phase of the study we were doing”
A news article on the study:


The cognitive development part of that report is now a separate article:

Scheinholtz, Laura., Karen. Holden and Charles. Kalish (available October, 2011) “Cognitive Development and Children’s Understanding of Personal Finance.” In Douglas Lamdin (Ed). Consumer Knowledge and Financial Decisions: Lifespan Perspectives. New York, NY: Springer.

Karen explains who her coauthors are: Laura was a graduate student working with us, one of Chuck’s students. I might have mentioned another study of teachers, survey results I inferred to mean that teachers were thinking of “financial education” as too complicated, making a link to their more complex financial lives than the basic tools students need to learn. That study is:

Wendy Way and Karen Holden. (2009). Outstanding AFCPE Conference Paper – Teachers’ Background and Capacity to Teach Personal Finance: Results of a National Study. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 20(2), 65-79”

Video Content for Young Learners – Sesame Street® “For Me, for You, for Later”


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