Making Room for Financial Literacy with Brian Curcio
July 11, 2023
Making Room for Financial Literacy with Brian Curcio

Though the tide is slowly turning, not enough schools are offering financial literacy education to students, and I don’t know of any states that require it for graduation. Some states may not feel like there’s room or resources to teach this vital skill to students, but creative teachers and schools can find a way.

This week on the podcast, I’m talking with Brian Curcio, co-founder of the financial literacy tool Rapunzl. It was founded to provide education about investing through fun and free investment competitions with scholarships and cash prizes. And because of the way it was built, students can learn about financial literacy both in and out of the classroom, opening up the possibilities and creating more accessibility.

It’s time for life skills to take priority in the classroom and this is just the beginning of what I hope will be a tidal wave of tools to do just that.

About Brian Curcio:

Brian fell in love with the world of investing in high school and quickly developed a passion for financial education after teaching his peers about the stock market. Over time, they realized that ordinary investors have paid a price to learn to invest; and that price typically was real money ending up in Wall Street’s pocket. Rapunzl was founded to provide an unparalleled investing education through fun (and free) investment competitions with scholarship and cash prizes.

Jump in the Conversation:

[1:35] – Where Brian’s passion for his work started
[2:49] – What students are currently getting in terms of financial literacy
[4:28] – What students should learn about financial literacy
[6:06] – Making financial literacy more attainable for learners
[7:37] – What teachers need to know to support students through the platform
[9:36] – Teaching financial literacy without a dedicated block in the school day
[11:16] – Teachers don’t have to be the expert
[14:12] – Project based learning and growing soft skills
[15:34] – What parents can do to help kids get more established with financial literacy
[18:40] – Award-winning tool
[22:27] – Turbo Time
[25:04] – How others can be activists and transform schools
[26:38] – Brian’s Magic Wand
[29:07] – Maureen’s Takeaways

Links & Resources



Maureen O’Shaughnessy 0:03
Hello fellow parents and educators. Thank you for joining me at Education Evolution, where we are disrupting the status quo in today’s learning models. We talk about present day education, what’s broken, who’s fixing it, and how. I’m Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your host and founder of education evolution, micro school coalition, and co founder of active, I consult and train with schools and leaders who are fiercely committed to changing the narrative, reimagining the education landscape, and creating learning that serves all children and prepares them to thrive. If you are new, welcome to the podcast. Please subscribe on our website to get it delivered to your inbox weekly. If you’ve been around a while, have you left a review?

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:08
Hi, Brian, it is great to have you on education evolution.

Brian Curcio 1:11
Hey, thanks for having me. Excited to talk more.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:14
And listeners today I’m chatting with Brian Curcio. he is a financial literacy advocate, and co founder of award winning ed tech finance program, Rapunzl. So Brian, I always like to start out just thinking about schools evolving to serve all learners. Where did your passion for equitable access to financial literacy begin?

Brian Curcio 1:39
Yeah, so it actually began in high school. So freshman year, I went to a new school, my partner. Now we actually met freshman year, our lockers were three apart, and we were some of the only teen investors in our class. So my freshman year coincided with the 2008 financial crisis. So it was kind of obvious hot topic at the time. But Myles and I fortunately, we weren’t doing so poorly, a lot of what we were doing was simulated investing. And so as we grew older, it was kind of thinking about how we became friends, and both kind of got really interested in the world of finance, and then trying to figure out a platform that could replicate that at scale for other students.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 2:23
I like that I like it when we learn from our experience and want to make a difference. Because of that. I think that helps us have heart for what we’re doing. So financial education is not a regular part of most schools curriculum. I mean, sometimes there’s a little bit of real life math or how to balance a checkbook or what compound interest as if you have a credit card, you know, bed? What do you think most students are getting right now for financial literacy that you know of?

Brian Curcio 2:53
It varies state by state. I think fortunately, we’ve seen some legislation that their states that are adopting financial literacy as a high school graduation requirements. And so that’s kind of great progress. But there’s still a lot of states that it’s an elective, or it’s not really even offered. And all of the research shows that starting financial literacy younger is beneficial in terms of decreasing credit card debt, increasing savings. But I think the one thing that most financial literacy platforms are still lacking is kind of what we think of as the third piece to financial literacy, which is the idea of investing and building generational wealth. So kind of, we do a lot of telling our kids don’t do this, like don’t overspend on credit cards, don’t get overdraft fees. And so financial literacy, these become very much kind of students sitting there getting told what not to do, which doesn’t go over always so well in the classroom. So it’s kind of trying to inspire kids with that idea of Look, you’re going to be wealthy or you’ll be rich one day and trying to figure out how we get there.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 3:59
I like that I like it just like primary teachers, they tell you don’t say don’t run in the halls, kids, remind them what you want them to please walk in the halls kids, you know, so when you focus on what can come of this, we can get wealth versus watch out for this. Don’t do that. I think everybody responds better to the possibilities than to you know, the landmines. So I love that angle. What do you think students should be getting? And how young At what ages in terms of financial literacy?

Brian Curcio 4:32
Yeah, I mean, I think it varies student to student, but I think that starting earlier is definitely important. I think just the idea of budgeting and saving. I think those are concepts that can be taught early on probably before middle school, or if not definitely in that sixth through eighth grade gap. And I think once students start building more of the foundational math skills around interest rates and compound growth, though, around eighth grade freshman year, I think getting them to learn more about just the benefits of the stock market as a whole. And looking at index funds, I think, is kind of a great entry point so that they have a few years to learn more about it before, hopefully kind of attending a four year, institution after school, or wherever their pathway be. It’s kind of like, these are sort of like essential life skills versus skills that you need to do well on for a test.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 5:31
Exactly. And sadly, a lot of students say, all school is prepared me for as being good at school. I know how many words to put in a paper so I can get credit for it. So I know how to do school, but I don’t know how to do life. And you’re saying, Come on, this is a life skill. This is something our kids need not just to pass a class. So I think that distinction is really important life skills need to happen in schools. So what have you created to make financial literacy a little more attainable for learners?

Brian Curcio 6:04
Yes, so the Rapunzl platform is a free mobile app or web platform that allows students to simulate $10,000 stock and crypto portfolios in real time. So it’s essentially allowing them to act as if they were real investors, but in a risk free environment. And so as they’re simulating these portfolios that are then able to enter those portfolios into competitions with scholarship prizes, so it’s kind of like allowing, like an earn while you learn for students. And so we launched that in April of 2018, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, and what we heard, we went to over 100 high schools teaching students and what we heard from teachers across the board was, we just don’t have anything to teach investing. So that was what led us to develop a full financial literacy curriculum, and align it with national and state standards. And we’ve now launched an Educator Portal, where teachers are able to kind of use that curriculum to build a customized financial literacy curriculum for their classroom. So that like it integrates within the app itself. So teachers can kind of be monitoring their class, while their students are all stimulating these portfolios, and hopefully winning scholarships.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 7:24
Wow, that sounds really exciting. So say, I am like, a ninth grade pre algebra teacher, and I get math, but I haven’t really done much in investing. What do I have to know, to be able to lead this in my class?

Brian Curcio 7:43
There’s not much I think a lot of it is, like the name of Huntsville comes from this idea that the world of finance is perched in an ivory tower, inaccessible to most. And so I think like our goal, we’re trying to provide equitable access, so everyone can understand it. But I think taking a step back, it’s like that, that tower isn’t as daunting or scary as it’s made out to be. So what we tell the students is that a lot of times, the reason that you don’t learn this is because some of the biggest banks like or the some of the biggest buildings downtown, and it’s like so understanding that there’s a power in knowing. So we have put together a library of resources for teachers to kind of feel up to speed on credit card debt, or budgeting, saving all the way through to 401, k’s and pension plans for retirement, because that was something else that we heard a lot of from teachers, but just trying to understand the pension, particularly in Chicago Public Schools, when there was all the news a couple years ago. And so that was were like, look, we can provide these resources too, because we need to teach it we’re kind of looking at it. Like this is the first wave of financial education, kind of on a broad scale, where states are adopting it. And somehow we’re assuming that teachers feel confident teaching it when it’s like this has been a problem. And if it’s not taught in school, I don’t know when we expect people to learn.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 9:09
Exactly. I’m glad that you’re meeting teachers where they are, because I think everybody wants to make sure kids are life prepared. So if you make it easy on teachers with lots of resources, and with your Rapunzel platform, and lessons and curriculum and a teacher portal, you’re meeting them where they are so that they can offer this to students a question. So I’m that ninth grade pre algebra, Algebra teacher? I don’t have a separate elective class where I can offer this. Is this something that I could weave in maybe Fridays? Every Friday? I’m 20 minutes of this is how could I use this when I don’t really have a dedicated block of time for it?

Brian Curcio 9:50
Yeah, so there’s a couple of ways. I mean, the first is you can just have the students stimulating their portfolios and we’ve embedded a lot of educational content into the app. And it’s free for students to use. So that’s kind of a way to promote more self directed learning. And then having students reflect upon those portfolios, during 1530 minutes on each Friday or every other Friday is a good way to help solidify the understanding of why stock prices are moving. We’ve also for that specific example, because we did have a lot of math teachers that were interested in doing what you described. So we built out a financial financial algebra module. And so essentially, it kind of it’s more free algebra concepts, but just to make it a little more accessible to different classes. But we’ve developed that to kind of run in tandem with a pre or regular algebra class. Because yes, it’s, if it isn’t made mandatory, it’s more difficult to sometimes get it into programs. And so it’s like the teachers are understanding it. But sometimes the bureaucracies move a little slower. So that was where we put together that module.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 11:00
Yeah, nice. Nice. And that is, sometimes it’s like locked in. And so the teachers don’t have that freedom. So you’re making it a win win with the curriculum, I love that. I find technology to be a little daunting for me. But if I let students have time to just interact, I don’t have to be the expert. If I create the space, do you think of a math teacher was really uncomfortable with the financial literacy if they let the kids do the self directed that that Friday reflection time, if they could create that 20 minutes, that there would naturally be some students that would rise up and be able to kind of help facilitate a student led conversation? So the teacher never has to be the expert?

Brian Curcio 11:41
Yeah, I think so. And I think also that, that we kind of this whole idea of more being more authentic with our kids. And so I think that the teacher can even acknowledge, look, I don’t necessarily understand all of this. So I’m going to simulate a portfolio alongside you guys and learn it. So it’s kind of, you can have a much more dynamic classroom where it’s like the teacher could be learning alongside the students, because there are students in every class that seem to really gravitate towards it. So they’re, they kind of consume all of the educational content that’s on there. So it’s like having done kind of feed the teachers and leading the class, it’s definitely kind of a way to implement it as well.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 12:21
I like that. And we know that when we’re passively just hearing something that doesn’t stick, and one of the best ways for learning to stick is to teach it to somebody else. So it’s also helping the student to even become clearer by teaching of is we have to organize our thinking and express it and field questions. So it seems to me like it would let teachers off the hook a bit and be something that’d be positive for the students.

Brian Curcio 12:45
Yeah, exactly. And I mean, it just makes those classroom conversations more engaging. And then additionally, inside that scholarship competition, there’s a leaderboard for all of the students in your classroom the other kids can see. So you kind of get to play on that competitive side in the class. And at the same time, we still keep it collaborative, where you can see your classmates portfolios, and what stocks they own. So you can kind of be following and learning from their investments as well. So it kind of lets the learning like extend beyond the classroom.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 13:18
That is brilliant. I know some kids that competitive piece gets them going. But I really like the collaboration. I it always bothers me when knowledge is like held secretly as power, you know, and it’s like, no, everybody’s seeing what everybody has, and learning from that, hey, this guy is at the top of the leaderboard, I want to check out what he’s doing compared to what I’m doing. And maybe I’ll have a specific question to ask him or her. So I like that you have both collaboration and competition in your model.

Brian Curcio 13:50
Yeah, well, and I think that’s what we’ve also realized when trying to bring it into the classrooms. It’s like, there’s kids that really do get excited by the competition piece. And then there’s students that are much more like getting introspective of like, well, I bought this, but I saw my friend bought that. And so it’s like, it facilitates Yeah, like getting students to talk more about what they’re learning with each other. And it’s also managing a portfolio. So great, project based learning thing that essentially, yeah, and it really, it froze a lot of these soft skills around like, you have to take on it. Like if you’re gonna pick 10 stocks, it’s very unlikely that all 10 are going to be good investments. And I think so it’s like dealing with these ideas of like being wrong and developing a thesis and then also just the patient’s around the fact that investing is a long term game and even though you can have this immediate gratification, watching the stock chart move and selling it when it goes a little higher. So to win the competition, you really have to understand that it’s more important to have your money in the market longer than to kind of find a specific time to enter and exit.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 14:57
Nice. Absolutely. I gave my girls my daughters are in their 20s. And I’m not somebody that’s really comfortable with financial literacy. But I’ve had some good coaching along the way. I gave them each $1,000, when they turned 21, to invest in a Roth, as long as they would continue to contribute, like $50 a month, just on my understanding of compound interest. Are there any things that you would say? Because you were saying start early, and you know, long term gain? If you were a parent, and you had a teenager or a young adult? Are there any things that you would? If parents could you would think that would be really helpful to help somebody get established with more financial literacy or get started with something?

Brian Curcio 15:47
Yeah, I mean, I think the biggest thing is that idea of starting early so that compound growth can kind of have as long as possible to compound. But the biggest thing I would say, is, I think taking advantage of IRAs is essential. But then within that, I think, trying to build this idea of dollar cost averaging, like a low cost index fund. So by that essentially, buying whatever amount it is $10.20 to $50 $100, every month of like the s&p 500. And I mean, it’s like, then you kind of take a lot of the gambling side of investing out of it. And it’s much more just relying on historical returns. And you’re basically betting on the 500 largest companies in the US. And I think the number it’s like something if you invest $50 per week, into the s&p 500. Or if you had, really any period over the past 100 years, you would do that for I think it’s about 37 years, you have over a million dollars, but you only invested about $96,000. And so it’s like that’s the power of the growth is so much more important than the contributions you’re making. So it’s kind of giving yourself a 3040 year period, allows it to gamble so many more times.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 17:10
That makes really good sense. I like that. So parents out there, listen up, this is something you could be helping your kids with.

Brian Curcio 17:17
Yeah, and that’s also I mean, oh, sorry, I was just gonna say that. That’s why we also made it a free mobile app was the idea that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a teacher, if it doesn’t get incorporated into the classroom, parents can have their kids download it. The only thing is that students have to use their school email address, because that’s the way we are able to match them and kind of make them eligible for the scholarships.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 17:41
Nice. I think that’s a nice condition. So what if it’s somebody that’s not in school, maybe a 22 year old is out working somewhere? Can they still have access? Is there a paid way to join with Rapunzl?

Brian Curcio 17:54
No, it’s still free. And so even if you’re not a student, there’s competitions that we host where essentially, it’s like the top 30% win a portion of a prize pool. So we have much smaller prizes than, like the 25,000 in scholarships, but kind of just providing everyone with an incentive to get started and learn about investing.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 18:17
Nice, incentives are always helpful.

Brian Curcio 18:20
Exactly. Well, I think that’s one of the things it’s like, if you’re learning about money, it’s exciting to connect money with it. So that’s what we’re kind of focusing on.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 18:30
This is really well thought out. I’m loving this. I think some other people are loving this two, why don’t you brag a little bit. Tell us about being a finalist for the Yas prize and what that meant, and what that prize is? Because it sounds like it’s a really big deal.

Brian Curcio 18:48
Yeah, it was. It was an incredible experience. So we learned about the XPRIZE, about this time last year, and we wrote our application, we weren’t really sure because Rapunzel is still a for profit education company, even though a lot of the work that we do is kind of more underserved communities bringing financial education there. But we found out that we were named first it was a quarterfinalist. And so there were 64 organizations that received $100,000 grants, and we all met in New York. Then 32 of us went down to Miami and we were hosted at one of academic because high schools down there, Mater, Brickell Academy, and they had a five day virtual accelerator where it was kind of it was fascinating, because we’re sitting with semi finalists that were superintendents of school districts to other edtech companies, charter school directors. And it was all framed around these stock principles with stop standing for sustainable transformational outstanding and permission lists. And so these were really the core values that the EOS prize was originally A farm and this idea of supporting kind of these bold, innovative solutions to education problems of today. And so we were thrilled to be named one of the transformational finalist in New York, then in December, and it’s opened up unbelievable doors. I mean, so there was a half million dollar grant that came with it that we invest. Creating. Yeah, it was that was That was crazy. So huge. And I think I what was so exciting was we were able to take that funding and invest it in an Educator Portal, which was this idea of, kind of my partner and I have probably spent over 1000 hours teaching financial literacy in the classroom. And now that we have students kind of from across the country, that whole even teaching virtually, it was like this isn’t long term and sustainable. So having that portal has been kind of huge. And then it’s also been the doors that they’ve opened. We went to DC and met with governors and senators and kind of talking about implementing financial literacy programs. And then other finalists are sharing their opinions. We’ve launched in over a dozen high schools that were of those 2022 Quarter finalists. So the application actually opened up yesterday for this year. So if you’re involved in education and doing things transformational, it’s, it was unbelievable experience for us.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 21:24
Congratulations, it sounds like you were in there with many heavy heavy hitters and holding your own.

Brian Curcio 21:30
We were trying to and it was it was interesting, because compared to a lot of competitions, where it’s like, oh, I just want to win. This one, obviously, with the grant money it was he wanted to win. But going into it, we had no idea because everyone was so outstanding, but it was unique. And so it’s like, well, you can’t compare a public school district to an ed tech platform. So it was like, it was fascinating. Yeah. And learning so much about different areas of education that didn’t appreciate as much before.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 22:03
Yeah, and I’m sure others there. Were learning more about financial literacy. So what a win win.

Brian Curcio 22:09
Right, exactly. That was an it’s an incredible community. So you still kind of be a part of it. And you’re welcome in these new quarterfinal.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 22:18
Yes. I’m going to pivot and let’s just get to know you a little bit more. I’d like to do turbo time questions. Are you ready?

Brian Curcio 22:27

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 22:28
What was the last book you read?

Brian Curcio 22:31
Last book? I think I reread Freakonomics. We’re integrating into the curriculum actually.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 22:39
Nice. How about two inspirational folks you’d love to meet?

Brian Curcio 22:44
Oh, that’s a tougher one. I think it would be fascinating to talk to Jamie Dimon from JPMorgan, just given the financial literacy angle. And I think Tim Cook still have to want to understand Apple more, kind of running a business from that summit.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 23:02
Nice. And what’s a pet peeve of yours when it comes to financial literacy?

Brian Curcio 23:09
I think the biggest pet peeve there’s there’s a lot of the biggest I think it’s just people feeling because being nervous to talk about it, because they feel like they’re inadequate because they never learned it. And so I think just this idea of recognizing that a lot of people are in the same boat and don’t understand it. So making it more comfortable to talk about, but a close second would be we had a lot of people asking us should they buy stocks or Bitcoin? That one has quieted down a little bit now. But that was always a little frustrating to.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 23:43
Yeah. You don’t have that magic ball that you can just kind of

Brian Curcio 23:49
like, look, if I knew trust me.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 23:52
Yep. What is a passion that you bring to financial literacy?

Brian Curcio 23:57
Yeah, I mean, I think that one was born in high school. My partner is black and grew up on the south side of Chicago. And it was kind of freshman year it was when we first met and we’re talking about investing. It was unique that Myles understood these things. And it just always never sat right with me that it should be the norm that everyone understands this, regardless of their zip code, what school they attend, and so that’s where it’s like making it more equitable for everyone to kind of understand these financial tools.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:29
Yes. How about a fun thing or fact about Chicago?

Brian Curcio 24:34
Oh, well, the Windy City is we get I get to clarify that one a lot that it’s not actually because it’s windy. It is really windy. And I don’t recommend visiting in the winter, but it’s actually because of that politicians would blow the way the wind blows. So it’s a it’s actually about Chicago’s corruption. So it’s a little undercut to us.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:57
I didn’t know that interest. Dang. So you and miles are activists, you’re transforming education, how can others be activists to transform schools?

Brian Curcio 25:10
I think the biggest thing, and we actually learned this or not learned it, but it was articulated the best during the EOS accelerator was that schools are actually businesses, whether they are or not, but it’s like, but their customers are parents. And it’s not like they’re selling the product is students receiving a better education. And I think having that sort of mindset and understanding the options that parents have, and kind of, I think, really appreciating that teachers are trying to do the best they can a lot of times with limited resources. And it’s like, trying to understand that even if financial literacy isn’t being brought into your classroom, that you can still make the classroom in your home and having the students kind of leverage the platform that way and still be learning these skills for life, I guess.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 26:04
And what is something that most people don’t know about you?

Brian Curcio 26:08
I was actually born in London. So both my parents were bankers, and even though they’re from Chicago, I grew up my whole childhood except zero through five in London. They’re working with a German bank out there. Wow, neither of those speak German either. So still unsure how that one worked? It must have exactly.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 26:34
I’d like to close with a magic wand moment. So Brian, if I were to hand you a magic wand, what would you wish for? To make sure that all youth are financially literate?

Brian Curcio 26:48
I think making it a requirement in high school graduation would be an incredible step in kind of the more short term, I think longer term, looking at ways to integrate financial literacy into core curriculum subjects. Particularly like looking at when you’re talking any sort of math I’d even addition, subtraction. I mean, we could talk about tax withholding at such an early age, you just need to understand the subtraction that everyone doesn’t understand when they get their first job. And they get their first paycheck and go, where’d all the money go? So I think that bringing it in integrating it into kind of these core lessons would be an incredible step in getting every student kind of feeling comfortable with at least the basics. I think just even thinking about like you can, you shouldn’t be able to get a credit card unless you can take a aptitude test that you understand how credit works. But the credit card companies don’t want that to ever happen because they make all their money off people that don’t understand credit cards. So I think it’s like trying to figure out ways, like the wave the magic wand to be really easy, trying to figure out ways to avoid upsetting the different stakeholders is a another challenge.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 28:04
Yes, but not our problem that’s on them. So these are great ideas. And I really like the interdisciplinary approach. When we normalize, when kids hear something over and over again, whether it’s ecology or financial literacy, or you know, multicultural, whatever, if we just weave things in, then it just becomes second nature and I think financial literacy because it is scary to some adults, myself included. I would never want to have to speak on it, either. I think that we haven’t done that but your magic wand suggestions are brilliant. Brian, I’m so impressed with what you and Myles have created. And I am really grateful that you have been a guest today.

Brian Curcio 28:47
No thanks for having me, Maureen. It was Exciting and I think… Exciting times for now where things are going with financial education.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 28:57
I agreed.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 29:08
What a wonderful Genesis story. I like how Brian and Miles Metis freshman found their common interest in financial literacy, and then became aware of a gap and a lack of equity. Creating Rapunzl to bridge that gap and make financial literacy more available is amazing. No surprise that it’s award winning. And it’s available for all kinds of classrooms and for homes. inspirational and I’m impressed with the EOS foundation. I’ve included their link in my show notes, sustainable, transformational, obtainable, and permissionless. Their stop criteria is powerful and supporting wonder While new ventures such as Brian’s and Miles Rapunzl platform, I also love the name, the illusion to the fairy tale where the princess is a prisoner in her ivory tower, and she can let down her golden braid so that the prince has access to reaching her. I love that they have created a way for all of us to have access to reaching financial literacy and applying it to our lives. Teachers and parents, it’s time for us to make financial literacy a part of our conversations. When we integrate important topics into what we teach and talk about, we normalize. We want kids to have a sense of financial literacy being normal. It’s okay for us to transparently show any discomfort we might feel just like technology, younger generations are going to be able to explain many of these concepts much better than I can. And it’s okay. We don’t have to know everything, school and district leaders. It’s time for us to make sure that financial literacy is a graduation requirement. Do I really need to know cosine and tangent for day to day living? Is that more important than understanding how credit card interest might negatively impact me? We are such a land of abundance in the United States. It’s tragic that there is so much personal debt and lack of understanding about finances. Rapunzel is a free platform. It sounds like one that all of us should be looking at, and making sure that we are modeling learning and becoming financially literate. Myles and Brian, keep up the important work and listeners. As always, thank you for being a part of the education evolution.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 32:13
I know how challenging it is to make changes inside your own school or community. I’ve spent years working with schools around the world on creating learner centered programs. And it always struck me how much schools were able to get done with the right tools and guidance. If you’re ready to make changes like this in your own school, let’s talk and put together an action plan. Visit for a free 15 minute call. And let’s see if we’re a good fit for more work together. Thanks again for listening. To support the education evolution. Subscribe so it lands in your podcast app and gets out to more decision makers. Then rate and review it. For more information in shownotes go to education evolution listeners. You are the ones to ensure we create classrooms where each student is seen heard, valued and thriving. We are in this together and we need you. Let’s go out and reach every student today. Thank you for listening, signing off. I am Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your partner in boldly reimagining education.


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Following the Evidence for Effective Policy with Darleen Opfer

We all want what’s best for our learners, but oftentimes biases get in the way of having productive conversations about what learning should look like in the classroom. Instead, we need to have evidence- and research-based conversations that support what truly works...

Latest Blog Posts

Why Isn’t Educational Change Happening?

School change is so much harder than I thought! When I did my doctoral research on school innovation and created a hands-on learning school-within-a-school in the 90s, I had no idea that I’d spend the next few decades making tiny changes. Changes that often...

Instilling a Practice of Gratitude in Uncertain Times

Thanksgiving looks different this year. Traditions are being shattered in 2020 and new realities are emerging. Thanksgiving is no exception. After Canada’s Thanksgiving in October, COVID statistics jumped, reminding us that, sadly, the pandemic isn’t taking a break...

Building Interdisciplinary Learning into Traditional Classrooms

A traditional classroom setting is just that...traditional. Teachers must teach specific subjects for a required amount of time, often using prescribed curriculum materials that may be a decade old. There’s little consideration for the individual learner--their...

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Leading Like a Teacher with Miriam Plotinsky

Leading Like a Teacher with Miriam Plotinsky

This week on the podcast, we’re welcoming back author and educator Miriam Plotinsky. She’s sharing about her latest book, Lead Like a Teacher, and talking about what school leaders can do to build more trust and a more collaborative school environment.

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