The use of graphing calculators has shown that pupils reached higher levels of thinking and could explain their thinking better. Furthermore, the use of graphing calculators has shown to foster a progressive evolution of mathematical thought from concrete to abstract and from material to theoretical. Business teachers should be encouraged to use this technology to foster growth in financial literacy. Couple the empirical results of research on learning with graphing calculators and a desire for home ownership, and teachers will have a strong foundation for teaching personal finance in the business curriculum.
Home ownership represents one of the biggest financial investments a consumer will make as their decision will span decades of payments and impact the choices they will be able to make. Home ownership is part of the Iowa Core Curriculum mandating that students “make informed and responsible decisions about incurring and repaying debt to remain both creditworthy and financially secure.”
Amortization calculations provide an excellent opportunity to integrate technology into the business curriculum and develop workforce skills. The calculations involved in building an amortization table are rigorous and relevant and provide an entry for teaching personal finance that will impact students the rest of their lives. The concepts learned from teaching about home finance can be applied to accounting, law, and economics to round out the business curriculum. In addition, using technology can remove much of the worry about computational errors and allow students to focus on reasoning and problem solving.