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26.9.2022 | Alicia Lucendo Noriega

Meet the HundrED Team: Alicia Lucendo Noriega, Research Intern

Learn more about our new Research Intern, Alicia Lucendo Noriega.

Tell us a little about yourself

Hi! My name is Alicia, and I am originally from Spain. Have you ever heard about the adventures of Don Quixote of La Mancha? Well, this famous novel by Cervantes is based in the region I am originally from, “La Mancha”. So I grew up surrounded by beautiful windmills and vineyards! 

I come from a family full of teachers, which allowed me to experience first-hand the strong influence of education AND educators across life. This atmosphere encouraged me to discover other education systems around the world, completing different exchanges in Canada, Switzerland, and Australia… which then led me to pursue my teacher’s qualification in primary education at university. Another important aspect of my life has always been music. I started playing the cello at the age of 5. I was so small then that I even needed to always carry a tiny chair with me so that my feet could touch the ground (an important aspect when playing this instrument!). This explains why my passion has always been to research and learn how to better connect the arts and education. So when I am not reading about education or playing music, I love spending time in nature and camping, and luckily Finland is a great place for this! 

Why do you want to work at HundrED?  

I moved to Finland about a year and a half ago, not only because I am a big Frozen fan and wanted to experience a winter wonderland, but mainly to pursue my studies in Changing Education at the University of Helsinki. I have always been passionate about researching how different fields and education practices are contributing to the future of education. HundrED allows me to combine this research and practice, researching and learning about innovations across the world. 

Moreover, working in an international team, I get to discover the amazing HundrED community, connecting and learning with many inspiring educators that are truly helping every child to flourish. Working in a team so passionate about helping to make education better, is definitely an amazing learning and inspiring experience! 

Why should we change our schools?

Education is omnipresent and influences a wide range of aspects in society and our lives, from formal to informal contexts as well as across age. With such a strong power, we need schools that are able to answer and accommodate every student's needs. So until this happens, the question for me should be not why, but rather how should we change our schools. In other words, what can we do to achieve this goal, to then build a more inclusive and equitable society?

Since I grew up always surrounded by teachers, I used to think that everyone in this world was a teacher. As I got older I understood that education is a much more complex ecosystem, where different stakeholders, policymakers, educators, and of course children, play a crucial role. Thus, all of these stakeholders contribute to fostering a holistic development of children both in school and in life. Having such a wide and interconnected system is a great opportunity to make a greater impact in building a world that answers every child's needs through education, for which all roles are needed. 

Why is innovation in education crucial today?

The ambiguous and constantly changing society we are currently living in has accelerated the urgent need to have a readiness to innovate and adapt to the new characteristics and needs of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown amazing examples of educators adapting to these changes. But we need better support for all agents in the education community, to promote this innovativeness in the long-term and the well-being of its members without causing a worrying burden that can highly impact their well-being. 

By fostering such an innovative atmosphere, children will also be given the chance to expand their creativity, curiosity and resilience, so that education will help them to continuously develop in an unknown and yet exciting future. 

Three HundrED innovations you love and why

Manzil Mystics, an innovation showing how learning through music can promote students’ confidence and creativity, bring happiness and thus ignite children’s true potential! 

Girls Rising, a global non-profit inspiring students to become local change-makers and global citizens through the use of stories of courage and resilience. 

Navegar Seguro, a program addressing the urgent social and emotional learning (SEL) needs of children, teaching SEL for students from kindergarten to 11th grade! 

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