Teaching Consumer Competences – A Strategy for Consumer Education

Proposals of objectives and content of consumer education

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The Nordic consumer organisations - government agencies and authorities - have collaborated on educational issues since the 1960s. Over the last ten years, collaboration in the sector of consumer education has been extended to the Baltic States. For all these countries, the TemaNord objectives for consumer education proposed by the Nordic Council of Ministers have proven to be a useful instrument for curriculum development and explaining and organising consumer-related education topics in connection with teacher training, municipalities and schools. This report on consumer education is the third, revised edition based on editions published in 1995 and 2000. The objectives and content of consumer education programmes promoting sustainable consumption need to be revised and expanded as the digitalisation of technology and the increasing diversity of media change the operating environment of consumers, making necessary the introduction of new objectives and fields of consumer education. This strategy is designed to enhance consumer education and the teaching of consumer competences and to help curriculum planners, educators, teachers and trainers.




Overall consumer education strategies are not well-defined in most countries. Many countries develop specific initiatives in an ad hoc manner to address specific problems. The lack of overall strategies and objectives may mean that opportunities to link policy initiatives in ways that enhance their effectiveness and efficiency are not being exploited. The development of policy frameworks with well-defined objectives could be helpful in addressing shortcomings in this regard. More research is needed to determine how such frameworks should be constructed.


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