Consumer education

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Consumer education (including consumer education , English. Consumer Education ; earlier consumer education ) refers to the teaching of life skills. This includes teaching financial skills such as budget planning for the design and handling of everyday financial management . In addition, consumer education conveys skills in the areas of healthy eating, environmental education, education for sustainable development, media and dealing with advertising.

Consumer education wants to enable consumers to

  • they shop responsibly,
  • they manage their available budget responsibly,
  • they take precautions for critical life situations (old age, illness, accident, etc.),
  • the health care for the adults and the children entrusted to them succeeds and
  • ecological and socio-ethical values ​​are taken into account in consumer decisions.

The subject area of ​​consumer education includes, among other things, economic, ecological, technical, legal, political, cultural, social and scientific dimensions. Consumer education cannot therefore be assigned to a specific subject. The commodity theory in Austria is up for discussion as a suitable basis .

Consumer education in Germany has so far only been a rudimentary part of school education. Consumer education offers can be found primarily in adult education and distance learning. The situation of consumer education in mainstream schools is inconsistent and confusing. Organizations involved in consumer education, such as the German Association of Consumer Organizations, have long been calling for a nationwide upgrading of consumer education within the curricula of the federal states.

Genesis and Development of Consumer Education

Consumer education had its beginnings in the household-oriented education for girls in the last third of the 19th century. Approaches to a theoretical foundation of consumer education can be found in Germany especially since the 1960s. In the following two decades numerous concepts, materials and media for consumer education emerged. Household, economics and work studies in particular can be viewed as “supporting subjects” for consumer education in general schools. These subjects are supported by the consumer advice centers and consumer associations (e.g. "Consumer Institute Foundation", "Working Group of Consumer Associations", etc.), which are now part of the Bundesverband e. V. / vzbv, experienced.

In the 1990s in particular, consumer education in schools has lost its importance and has only recently - with the constantly growing demands for personal responsibility, etc. on the part of consumers - moved back into the focus of scientific and educational policy debate.

Against this background, the first educational goals, standards and competencies for nutrition and consumer education were developed, in particular through the REVIS project (reform for nutrition and consumer education in schools) funded by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Protection. The research project of the Universities of Paderborn and Flensburg also created a core curriculum for nutrition and consumer education.

Understanding consumer education today

Here, consumer education is understood to mean the ability to know, understand, reflect and act in different areas of consumption on the basis of individual and social needs (including health-oriented, ecological decisions and other ethical values). Consumer education is thus viewed from the perspective of people as acting consumers.

Consumer education therefore has the task of showing the connections between production and consumption in their economic, ecological and social aspects in the interests of sustainable development, and of enabling individuals to shape the framework for their actions themselves and to take responsibility for their consumer behavior. In order for this to be successful, they need skills for the design of their individual resource management, for coping with their economic and social security and for the development and implementation of sustainable aspects of lifestyles and household styles.


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