Anna Paula Herrera Kivinen
Helsinki-based educator with Mexican-Finnish roots. Passionate about all education spheres and a strong believer that our understanding of education needs to be transformed in order to create more just and compassionate societies.
My name is Anna Paula, and I’m a Mexican-Finnish education advocate who likes to learn a little bit about everything. I grew up in Mexico City, and convinced that quality education is one of the milestones of compassion, equity and dignity, I studied in the Intercultural Teacher Education programme in the University of Oulu, Finland. I have been involved in different schools and organizations in Finland, Mexico, Chile, South Africa, Tanzania and the U.S., and now I’m based in Helsinki working as a primary school teacher.
Brazilian pedagogue Paulo Freire was my first idol in the world of education - and the reason behind my interest in transformative pedagogies. His ideas made me question my own perceptions of what education is and whether it is contributing or not to create a more just and compassionate world, and it is a question that I keep asking myself as an educator.
Besides exploring all spheres of education, you might find me jamming with my ukulele, painting, crocheting, watching animal documentaries and having a good cup of coffee.Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?
The HundrED community is a network that was much needed in order to put into practice what lies at the heart of education: education is a shared, continuous process that should benefit all humankind. There are so many great ideas, movements and innovations out there, but we often don’t even know about their existence. I believe that education -and schooling- worldwide need to be transformed to fully respond to the needs, context and potential of each person -and the first step is by starting the conversation.How can education support students to flourish?
First of all, we need to get rid of the idea that education means schooling. Education can be everywhere: in museums, in the streets, at home, in a park. Schooling is just a part where we should aim to provide the space and tools to each student in order for them to reach their full potential, discover their passion and see themselves as unique members of a larger community. Probably the first and foremost key to support students is by actually getting to know them, and by ensuring they feel safe in a welcoming environment.What role does innovation play in education change?
By innovating, we are somehow questioning what we previously took for granted. By innovating, we are contributing to the conversation of what is best for all people to learn and reach their potential. Innovations make us think outside the box - and that is an integral part of education.Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)
First and foremost, Redes de Tutoría. This innovation is simple, cost-effective and was developed in the rural areas of Mexico. This innovation, founded by Gabriel Cámara, has existed for more than forty years, and it is quite a revolutionary pedagogy that has shaken the way students learn in Mexico and abroad. Traditional schools in Mexico are quite teacher-centered, but with Redes de Tutoría, students become each others’ tutors, transforming classroom relationships. This innovation is especially close to my heart as I worked with Redes while living in Mexico.
Lukumummot -ja vaarit (Reading grandmas and grandpas) is another innovation I love. This approach provides a space where elders can spend time reading with students, tackling several challenges at the same time. It is helping children to read and write with personalized attention, and it provides an exciting time of the week for elders wishing to spend time with children.
Mutt-i-grees is another innovation that melted my heart. I believe that growing up with pets or having the possibility of being close to animals gives us a particular sensitivity and sense of compassion towards all beings. Knowing about all the benefits of human-animal interaction, Mutt-i-grees provides an opportunity for children to interact with shelter dog, developing their social and emotional skills, and a great time for both of them.Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)
A project that is connected to indigenous knowledge and collective decision making: Barefoot College (India). With them everyone in the community is an engineer, educator and innovator - even if you did not attend formal schooling.
A project that has linked a sense of community, purpose and wellbeing to children through music in México has been Esperanza Azteca. There are now hundreds of child orchestras across the country and elsewhere.
There are many education projects and innovations that are doing very important work to welcome and integrate refugees, one of them is “Sin Palabras” (México) which has an art-based approach.