Wendan QIAN

Wendan QIAN

Shanghai, China

Join me, get smart on educational innovations in Finland and China.


I am Wendan QIAN, a Chinese educator based out of Helsinki, Finland. I am passionate about life education and pedagogical innovations in K12 education.

From bottom of my heart, China and Finland both means home to me. Plus I have worked in educational institutes of these two countries. That made me think: Why not seek out and share more inspiring global innovations for teachers in Finland and China, and let the world know what Finnish and Chinese educators are doing for the future education? As an Chinese teacher and writer with good media resources who now lives in Finland, I would like to become a bridge between these two countries by helping to encourage positive corporations.

In addition, I am the founder of Pedagogy Finland ry which located in University of Helsinki, and I keep running educational social media named Pedagogy Finland (微信公众号: 芬兰吧) for many years . There several ten thousands of Chinese educators and teachers are following me to get smarter on Finnish education and global educational innovations.

That's me. A educator, a writer and a education changemaker.

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

HundrED got me at first glance. Summer of 2016, when I was searching for information about sex education in Finland, HundrED showed me a project, named A Model for Sex Education, which I could put in practice in China. That made me think: Why not seek out and share more inspiring global innovations for teachers in China, and let the world know what Chinese educators are doing for the future education? As an Chinese teacher  and writer with good media resources who now lives in Finland, I would like to become a bridge between these two countries by helping to encourage positive cooperation between teachers from both countries. I think this also matches HundrED’s main goal of sharing ideas globally.

How can education support students to flourish?

We need to ask the question, what is a school? Since the industrial revolution, the school has had just one goal: preparing workers for the assembly line. This traditional role of schooling has become obsolete in the 21st century. With the ongoing introduction of augmented reality into the classroom, teaching is becoming more digital, more global and more personal. Our schools must adapt to this change.

The word “schôle” first appeared in Ancient Greece and it actually meant “leisure”. Schools in Ancient Greece were places where students discussed the meaning of life, considered what it means to be happy and dreamt up the ideal world. The Industrial Revolution made schools extremely pragmatic. If we consider this traditional education as industrial, I believe that the future of education is agricultural. Schools will be a rich land for the seeds of personal ideas, skills and happiness. They will be places which give every child an understanding of themselves, their desires and their futures. The time for change is now!

What role does innovation play in education change?

When we talk about education, we should always be thinking about our aims. I believe that the aim of education is to develop everyone’s capacity to explore the world. 

‘The world’ does not only refer to the external world, its history, society, technology, culture and so on. It also refers to the way in which we explore our inner space, learn to understand ourselves and develop our desires. As the external world expands with new technologies, there is a greater need for personalization and global cooperation. However, our education system is yet to escape from the throes of its 18th-century industrial model.

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

Personalized Learning Paths

I am a big fan of Finnish high school teacher Pekka Peura because I believe that Personalized Learning is one of the most significant innovations of 21st-century education. I think that the best education is one that enables each individual to become the best version of themselves. Pekka's Personalized Learning Paths "allows learning to be individualized according to each student's strengths, tendencies and temperaments, while they continue to work collaboratively in a social context." I know it really motivates pupils to learn and develops their autonomy when learning.

Global Learning

The world is becoming more global. Are our schools adapting to this? Global Learning project answers this at a practical level. I was totally inspired by Koen Timmers's idea to organise a worldwide collaboration learning project among students. The future belongs to the younger generation and we should let their voice be heard. As a mother, you might don't know how eager I am to have my son involved in a real-life SDGs-based learning environment. Global learning will benefit young people as they will see the world from many different perspectives. It will fuel their systemic thinking, problem-solving and creativity within a group.

Schools on The Move

Let's imagine taking part in a School on The Move:

Students are sitting on a gym ball or standing up and moving around for learning, not sitting on a chair.

Students are creating a plan of how to redesign their school playground so they can cycle.

Students are discussing how to turn the school corridor into a climbing wall.

Students are allowed to participate in planning every school facility and activity.

All of these things are actually happening in Finnish schools. I have been following this national project for two years. This program has proven to be a very efficient way to increase physical activity. By doing so, it motivates students to be active participants in school decision making. Integrating physical exercise into the school day can definitely have a positive effect on academic learning, peer relationship and student satisfaction.

Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)

ETU School

ETUSchool is a school with its founding roots in both the Silicon Valley and Beijing, China. First opened in fall 2016, ETUSchool is dedicated to combining the leading pedagogy from the west with China’s culturally-rich curriculum to offer a personalized education with true appreciation of Chinese culture. In this way, we cultivate students to be globally competent citizens in a world where east and west becomes increasingly intertwined.

ETU promotes learn-by-doing through its project-based learning curriculum. We aim to inspire children by activating, protecting and promoting intrinsic motivations of children, who will become self-driven and life-long learners. 

The ETU’s Values represent the qualities and characteristics of all members of our learning community. We expect all students and teachers to model and promote these Values in their daily lives. It offers a holistic assessment and a certifying mechanism for teachers based on 5 key aspects of their role (curator, facilitator, coach, team-player and advocate) and 16 core competencies. This helps guide their efforts in personal and professional development.

Moonshot Academy

Imagine a school......

Where the campus is like a co-working space located in city center, leveraging nearby facilities; The space is designed like Google’s office. Talent from different industries around the world gather here to become teachers, mentors, coaches and friends of students.

Each student has entirely personalized learning goals and paths. Courses are no longer just about academic subjects, but to develop students in knowledge, skills and character via project participation and deep discussion.

The proprietary IT platform will be connected to the best online learning resources, and establish a new assessment system. Family relationship, collaboration and growth of parents together with students are also key priorities. The society is part of campus - science labs and NGOs will be invited into the co-working space; students have plenty of internship opportunities to experience various professions.

We are cultivating citizens with fufilled aspiration and positive actions.

Kids Plan

Think big, Think deep.