Tell us a little about yourself
Hi! I’m Jamie and came to Helsinki about 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada to study in the Changing Education Master’s programme at University of Helsinki. Before coming here, I did my Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Toronto and spent a lot of time working in small social impact start-ups. However, I always knew that my passion was in education and wanted to see how I could combine a background in business with my strong desire to make an impact in the education sector. That’s why following graduation, I spent a year in Taiwan, where my parents are from, teaching English and reconnecting with my roots. By a stroke of luck or chance, I was given the freedom of creating my own curriculum and lessons for a small group of grade 7 students in a public school that had unique needs. Experimenting, empathising and connecting with this talented group of students became one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
I am passionate about equity and inclusion in education and see the power of social entrepreneurship as a way to solve many of the world’s largest challenges. I am also currently finishing up my thesis which uses a participatory approach to investigate experiences of racism and how belonging is constructed by students of colour in Finland.
In my spare time, you’ll find me at the climbing gym or frantically working on another crochet project.
Why do you want to work at HundrED?
I actually found out about HundrED before I moved to Helsinki because it was the best place to find information about education innovations around the world! I love working at HundrED because the team is doing such critical work in supporting innovators making an impact in education and now spearheading a movement towards education innovation implementation. It is amazing being part of a community of people who see change in education as a priority. My favourite part about the community is how innovators are so willing to help one another because at the end of the day we all have the same goals in mind - to ensure that every child can flourish.
Why should we change our schools?
In an ideal world, every child comes home from school excited about what they have learned that day and finishes school as a holistically-developed individual who feels prepared to face future challenges that behold them. This is not yet the case, so there is still a lot to be done!
As society changes, education must change as well to respond to shifting demands. That’s not to mention the multitude of global challenges, such as climate change, that are on the horizon.
Why is innovation in education crucial today?
There are numerous domains in which education can be improved, not to mention new unexpected challenges that constantly arise. Therefore, we must constantly be innovating in the field of education to support and prepare the next generation.
Three HundrED innovations you love and why
1) Learn to Play - Early childhood education is immensely important and Priyanka is addressing a huge need for quality early childhood education in Botswana through their unique model. I especially love how they also empower mothers to become Mamapreneurs and start their own community playgroups.
2) Roots of Empathy- Their approach, putting a baby in a classroom to teach students about empathy is so unique and has proven to be so impactful! Hearing about the stories of how interactions with a baby have “cracked” youth who try to put up an emotional front is inspiring and encouraging.
3) MyMachine - Giving the power to primary school students to dream big and involving secondary and university students to make their dreams a reality makes the MyMachine process really special. I love how they have figured out a way to involve different age groups of students while promoting STEM education.
Linkedin: Jamie Lee