Meet the HundrED Team: Clara Garcia Millan, Education Specialist


We are happy to welcome a new addition to the HundrED Team, Clara Garcia Millan. Clara our new Research Assistant. She will be working with us part-time as she completes her Master’s Degree in Development, Education, and International Cooperation at the University of Jyväskylä. She will be working closely with our Head of Research Chris Petrie.

Tell us a little about yourself

Hello! I am Clara and I am originally from Terrassa, a small town next to Barcelona in Spain. I came to Finland two years ago to study my Master’s Degree in Development, Education and International Cooperation at the University of Jyväskylä and I fell in love with the country immediately. Connecting with nature is an essential part of my daily life and living in Finland is just perfect as 74.2% of the land area is covered with forest and wildlife.

My biggest passion is Education. I strongly believe that quality and inclusive education is a key factor to transform societies and make this world a better place for everyone. For this reason, I decided to study Primary Education and Early Childhood Education at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona to become a teacher and have a great impact on my community. During my studies, I was also involved in the Scout Movement and I became a big advocate of non-formal education and free play.

I am also passionate about arts and music. A fun fact about me is that I play the harp since I was 6! Unfortunately, I could not take my harp with me, here in Finland, but I am happy to try new ways of artistic expression. At this moment I am into drawing and painting and I want to publish my own illustrated book for children soon.

Why do you want to work at HundrED?

I love teaching, but after working as an educator for a while I felt the need of having a greater impact in society and help, not just my community, but also a wider scale of educational contexts. For this reason, I was looking for a job that allowed me to study what are the main challenges in education today and find effective solutions to those problems. When I came across HundrED, I realized that it is just the perfect place for me as I am helping to impact educational systems and expand innovations around the world.

Something that I also love about HundrED is the international environment, you get to meet people from all around the world every day! It’s super exciting to hear all kinds of perspectives and work in a team that is as passionate about education as I am. At HundrED I feel inspired all the time!

Why should we change our schools?

The kind of education I received as a child was quite traditional and focused on grades and competition. At that time, the main objective of schooling was to obtain high scores in exams. Good grades would allow you to access higher education institutions, providing you with the qualifications to enter the job market and contribute to the economy. For that purpose, it was enough to make students memorize long lists of contents. However, research has proved that this is not the best way to learn. From my personal experience in the education sector, kids learn better when emotions are involved in the learning process when they can relate knowledge with their own personal experiences. And that’s why we should change our schools.

I want to take part in this education revolution, contributing to the study of how we can reform our educational systems, in order to allow children to have more meaningful learning experiences and help them to enhance their voice and develop their personal interests. I want to offer next generations an education that cares about their wellbeing, social-emotional learning, creativity, and individual development while offering opportunities to interact and collaborate.

Why is innovation in education crucial today?

Innovation in education is crucial because traditional methods are not effective anymore. Schools need to innovate to provide kids with the tools they need to become critical thinkers and respond to the challenges of today. Innovation is needed especially now when the COVID-19 crisis has created new challenges for teachers, families, and students. Personally, I am very excited to see how schools change now and start implementing new ways of making education accessible and meaningful. Despite the obvious difficulties of the pandemic, this is a great opportunity to rethink how we want to educate our future generations. There is a clear need to promote student agency and enhance their voice. We need transformative leaders that will help to cope with the problems that are already threatening our societies; such as climate change, inequalities, forced migration, etc. I am sure that initiatives such as HundrED are the first step to transform our education systems.

Three HundrED innovations you love

  • Segni Mossi:  The creative education that brings together movement and art in workshops for learners and teachers alike.
  • MAIA Impact School: The first secondary school designed specifically for Maya girls in rural Guatemala.
  • Agora: The school with no classes, no classrooms, and no curriculum.

Keep up to date?

I love to discuss with people who are passionate about education, creativity, new ways of learning and social justice. Please, send me an email if you want to have a chat!