Teachers have consistently told us about the positive influence our programs have had on their students. From better attendance and increased engagement and participation in class to higher test scores and improved academic performance, there are many anecdotes about the educational impact of the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game.
These anecdotes were confirmed when FINRA funded a study of the Stock Market Game program by American Institutes for Research (then known as Learning Point Associates). At the conclusion of their year-long study, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) confirmed quantitatively what teachers have been telling us all along: the Stock Market Game engages students and improves academic performance, financial knowledge, and saving and investing habits.
In addition to improving math performance and financial knowledge, the AIR study discovered that the Stock Market Game program had a positive influence on the financial decisions of the teachers who used the program with their students.
In addition to providing quantitative evidence of the Stock Market Game’s educational impact, the AIR study was also the first study exclusively devoted to measuring the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game program. Before the publication of the AIR study, William Walstad and Stephen Buckles, professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, published an analysis of the National Educational Assessment of Progress (NAEP) report on high school economics learning. Considering a range of “economics-related activities,” they found that the “only activity that shows a positive and significant relationship with test scores was participation in a stock market game.”
The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy announced similar results in their Survey of High School Seniors and College Students. They found high school students who participated in a stock market game “did significantly better than other students on the financial literacy exam.” These findings were corroborated in four consecutive versions of the survey.
During the past 35 years, teachers have played an integral role in helping improve The Stock Market Game and our other programs. Teachers who participate in our programs are engaged, committed and readily respond to requests for input to support continuous improvement of our programs. During the 2012-13 school year, we asked participating SMG teachers to rate their experience and their students’ experience with the program. Not only were the teacher responses overwhelmingly positive, but we received excellent feedback for future enhancement of our programs and technology. Also, teachers provided us with relevant information about the education environment they are facing, which will assist us in developing new solutions and tools that meet their needs. Teachers also provided guidance to help us reach even more classrooms with our programs.
There is no shortage of information relating to the importance of youth and adult financial literacy. The challenge has been finding the class time in an already crowded course schedule. The Stock Market Game is an effective answer to this challenge. The Stock Market Game is an engaging, interdisciplinary, hands-on activity that practices many of the content skills taught in the classroom.