Acting up can take the drama out of a financial crisis

Using drama as a means of engaging younger (and older) audiences is one of the methods that can enhance and improve the learning experience. Teaching and learning about money management can be dry and boring but creativity can bring the subject to life. At the beginning of 2008, students from St Helens College presented a series of amusing or serious sketches about managing money at a financial capability event in central Liverpool called ‘Make Money Matter in the North West’. ‘The Three Little Pigs (and the big bad bailiff wolf)’ and ‘Blind Debt’. A satire of the popular TV show Blind Date, were the humorous highlights of the performance with ‘The Letter (a suicide note written by someone caught up in debt & drugs)’ provided a more sombre portrayal of the darker side of debt. Extracts of the afore-mentioned performances can be found at www.mowe.org.uk/finance

The use of music has included drawing on my musical ability to add more interest to sessions. i.e. using the well known song ‘Bare Necessities’ from the film Jungle Book as an ice breaker (The Bare Necessities of Money) and introduction to the subject of money, credit and debt.

Other innovative ways to disseminate information and advice include art, dance, poetry and prose. Students have written Hip Hop lyrics, original songs and adapted the lyrics of existing songs to cover money related topics.

Learners have drawn a ‘Money Tree’ and added leaves to the tree e.g. ‘credit cards, debit cards, store cards, personal loans and used these as a means of discussing money issues. Learners have also been encouraged to take part in a ‘Hopes and Dreams’ and ‘Fears and Concerns’ post it note exercise. This has helped students articulate their financial hopes for the future and their financial worries. The exercise helps start the process of preparing self Financial Health checks which if conducted on a regular basis, incorporating good money management principles will result in improved Financial Health.

Young people and secondary school students have responded really well and using the arts is a good way of looking at attitudes to money in quite a short time frame. One learner recently said: “Vernon was brilliant and I really enjoyed the way he taught us. He made it engaging and interesting. So a big thank you to him, I myself and the rest of the group really gained a lot out of this course.” Full testimony supplied.

 

Vernon Fuller MICM (Grad); CertEd; Cert.HE Money Management & Debt Counselling

 
MoneyART - Money Management Courses using the Arts
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