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Meet the HundrED Team: Jonathan Frederick, Research Intern

30.4.2022

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Jonathan Frederick and I am originally from Connecticut, USA. I recently moved to Finland from Maryland, USA where I worked for three years at Baltimore County Public Schools as an English Language Arts Teacher. I grew up in Trinidad and Tobago and also lived and served as a volunteer onboard a humanitarian vessel for two years, along with 400 crew members from over 60 different nationalities. Travelling to thirty-six countries around the world as well as my time growing up in the Caribbean has shaped my worldview. I have a broad perspective on life and as a result, approach topics through dialectical reasoning. I enjoy watching cricket as well as spending time reading articles and journals on current events around the world. I recently moved to Finland to pursue my Master’s studies and to reside here with my wife, who hails from this country. I appreciate Finnish culture and enjoy spending time at its renowned libraries and embracing its unique architecture.

Why do you want to work at HundrED?  

In July 2021, I moved to Finland in order to embark on my studies in Changing Education, at the University of Helsinki. During my programme of study, I have been privileged to learn about the latest developments in education and refine my craft of research in the area of curriculum reform, global education as well as the role of technology in education. Serving at HundrED has provided a unique opportunity to utilize the theories gleaned in the classroom and translate them into practice. 

The HundrED team is diverse, dynamic and to a great degree, digital. Therefore, I enjoy learning from the team and understanding more about research and collaborating as well as contributing to the process of identifying and analyzing innovations that will be impactful and scalable for the education of the future generations.

My ardent support of education equality and quality aligns with the goals of HundrED which are to help every child flourish, no matter what happens. I believe that fostering an international environment where various stakeholders from education can gather and share their inspiring innovations in education is incredible and ingenious. 

The HundrED team is diverse, dynamic and to a great degree, digital. Therefore, I enjoy learning from the team and understanding more about research and collaborating as well as contributing to the process of identifying and analyzing innovations that will be impactful and scalable for the education of the future generations.


Why should we change our schools?

I believe that our schools should be focused on holistic development and the emphasis should be on relationship building. In Maryland, I was exposed to Restorative Justice and witnessed its positive impact on improving the relationships between teachers and students. I agree with the late Sir Ken Robinson and Geoffrey Canada who have called for education to reach students individually rather than as an industrial, linear process that produces students who all learn and know the same information.    

Schools must allow students to independently grow and develop their own intellectual, creative and emotional potential.

I support a Holistic Education and believe that schools should partner with the community and be a place where honest, open and respectful conversation can take place. Schools must allow students to independently grow and develop their own intellectual, creative and emotional potential. Additionally, teachers must be incorporated in the development of policies regarding education and our focus must be on their retention in the long term through the provision of adequate resources and adequate training and social and emotional support.


Why is innovation in education crucial today?

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problems such as inequality and lack of technological resources that already existed in public schools. I was impressed by the manner in which teachers and students were able to quickly adapt to virtual instruction during the pandemic and the way in which they were able to engage students online through their type of questioning.

However, I believe that going forward, it is crucial that we provide all stakeholders in education the adequate tools and training so that in the advent of another disruption to our system, education for our future generations can continue.

Such innovation is crucial, as it would stimulate teachers and students to continue exploring and researching education to uncover newer concepts, pedagogy and technology.

Three HundrED innovations you love and why

Reap Benefit: This innovation is remarkable due to its theme of community, compassion and problem-solving. Its call to action is critical as it serves as a platform through which solutions to local environmental civic problems can be developed. Charity begins at home and this initiative creates an avenue where students can work towards Sustainable Development.

Positive Education: The Positive Education innovation piques my interest due to its theoretical framework which harnesses the hearts, hands and minds of the school community. The core of this initiative is the term, ‘flourish,’ which is based on feeling good and doing good. Its program promotes resilience, healthy levels of optimism, vitality, and emotional stability and nurtures positive relationships. I appreciate that this innovation ultimately seeks to teach students the value of using their skills and knowledge to contribute to the wider society.

World’s Largest Lesson: This innovation is important as it brings together world culture in the classroom. The world is becoming a global village, further compounded by the expansion of the internet and the latest development in social media. Its exploration of the universal values that connect us all inspires a global perspective where communities around the world can work together to find peaceful, innovative solutions to the issues of the world.


Connect with Jonathan