Jordy Angel Coldwell on Why We Need the Student Voice to Shape Personalised Learning


Jordy Angel Coldwel is the director of film Student’s Voice at HundrED; encouraging students to voice their opinions and to start thinking about their education. Jordy became involved with HundrED after attending the 2018 HundrED summit and has served in the capacity of youth ambassador, a youth academy member and has been involved with various HundrED projects including interviews and thematic talks.


What are the key issues in education from your point of view?

I think the biggest issue is that we live in a world where society is constantly evolving and education isn’t catching up, and we also live in an era that is extremely stimulated. There are too many things going on, and in my opinion, the first thing that needs to change is the method of teaching. I don’t believe that lectures work much for students, at least in my opinion. And this idea that education is something that you have to do to get into college so that you can get into work rather than something you want to do; because the word education isn’t ‘going to school.’ It’s actually your life, your whole surrounding, everything that you do is education, it’s learning, and it shouldn’t be something academic you learn to hate because of the rigor and because of the setting, but it should be something that you realize you adore and that it empowers all that you are.


Why is the youth perspective important when innovating education? 

I think the first thing I would say is that education is for us as students. We are a part of it, we are the ones receiving it, so we should be the ones to ask for exactly what we need. I think we need the opportunity to get to know what we need and how we learn and to express that. Of course, there is research on that, but what about our opinions on it? 


What should the future of education look like?

For my youth academy poster, I drew a picture of an orchestra as my future of education. My description is that that’s what it should look like. There should be an orchestra which would be the students or the learning happening. The music would be the learning, so to say, and the director would be the teacher. The director is a wonderful part of the orchestra; he guides the music and sets the dynamics and controls the volume; but if you take him away, the music can still happen and the orchestra can still get together and mold what they are doing. The musicians are all individuals and the beautiful thing about musicians is that they find their own way to practice their music. No one way of playing an instrument will work for all of them so they each individually do it. And then when they are playing together, they have to harmonize and work in a team, know themselves and know what they are doing and know their partners and their team. That’s what I think the future of education should be.

What does HundrED’s work mean to you?

HundrED is a project that gathers and shares innovations in education; and gathers people and inspires people. It really means a lot to me because when I came to Finland, I felt that I had lost my hope in education; feeling that I wasn’t going to find people who wanted to make a change; I thought that I was the only one looking for a change and no big change was happening in the world. When I stumbled upon HundrED, I was so impressed by the amount of passion there is in these people that want to make this change; and HundrED who is organizing this change altogether. I remember the last day of the HundrED Summit, I interviewed one of the innovators and I ended up crying because I was so inspired by the whole event, by the innovators, by everything. And I think that's what HundrED is; it's this gathering of these amazing people and amazing ideas, spreading them and inspiring others to do the same.