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Board of Advisors

Our work at GETI is supported by an eminent panel of advisors who bring in their experience and expertise to GETI’s efforts.

Ms Irmeli Halinen

Irmeli Halinen worked as the Head of Curriculum Development in the Finnish National Agency of Education until her retirement in 2016. She was coordinating the extensive national curriculum reform in 2012-2016. Irmeli was a member of the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO, a member of the National Evaluation Council of Education in Finland, and an expert member of the Advisory Board of the Finnish Ombudsman for Children. She works as a Director of Educational Innovations in the future research and consultation company Metodix Oy. She has published several articles and books in the field of education. As a curriculum expert, she has also been working for the OECD and UNESCO.

Dr Neelam Parmar

Dr. Neelam Parmar currently works as Director of Educational Technology, Digital Learning and Innovation. Neelam draws on her research and practical experiences of working with technology and regularly presents around the UK and internationally on the role of EdTech in digital education, providing strategy, roadmaps and CPD Programmemes for digital (blended and hybrid) learning approaches. She is the author of the 'Digital Literacy in the Primary series and 'Digital Parenting' book. Neelam is an award-winning professional, international researcher, author, thought leader and speaker on effective technology, pedagogy and curriculum integration within education and is currently engaged with the DfE EdTech Leadership Group, #EdTechImpact workshops and @WomenEdTech movement.

Martin Richards

Martin Richards works to ensure that a coaching approach is increasingly and correctly used in schools in Europe and is creating Europe-wide change through inspiration, training and support. Martin holds the prestigious CPCC Coach certification from CTI, the Coaches Training Institute, and has over two thousand logged coaching hours. His mission is to train learners, parents, educators and school leaders to speak the coaching language so that learning comes more rapidly and more easily. Travelling Teacher-Coach, Martin has been passionately supporting teachers to reconnect with their original passion for teaching PGCE CPCC. Martin is also an experienced secondary school teacher of Mathematics, a professional English trainer and the author of several books about the benefits and processes of coaching in education.

Suvi Westling

Suvi Westling Expert in Educational Psychology and Planning Of Educational ProgrammesHelsinki Area, Finland Her forte has been teaching & educational development in the department of teacher education, facilitating group process and learning of students of Educational Psychology. Her research project of "Learning, Agency And Well-Being In Education" had a research group consisting of researchers from the Universities of Helsinki, Tampere and Eastern Finland. Her efforts have been to study interrelated processes of learning, agency and well-being of students, teachers and school administrators to help schools to develop themselv

Dr Thom Markham

Thom Markham Founder & CEO, PBL Global He is a psychologist, educator, author, speaker, and internationally-respected consultant to schools focused on project-based learning, 21st-century skills, innovation, and high-performance cultures. He has authored two best-selling books on project-based learning, the Buck Institute for Educationʼs Handbook on Project Based Learning and the Project-Based Learning Design and Coaching Guide: Expert tools for Innovation and Inquiry for K – 12 Educators, as well as Redefining Smart: Awakening Studentsʼ Power to Reimagine Their World. Thom has worked with over 300 schools and 6000 teachers worldwide to help establish transformational inquiry-based Programmes that integrate PBL with social-emotional learning and design thinking. His intention is always to work collegially with other educators to discover, empower, improve, and succeed.

Deena Kara Shaffer

Deena Kara Shaffer, PhD, MEd, BEd, (Hons)BA, OCT is the Coordinator of Student Transitions and Retention, Student Wellbeing, at Ryerson University, and the President of the Learning Specialists Association of Canada. Whether by immersion in nature, somatic Programmeming, digital strategies, or arts-based provocations, Deena helps students learn how to learn and to do so from an equity-guided, research-driven, health-promoting approach. Formerly a learning strategist with Ryerson's Disability Services Office and a skilled OCT teacher, Deena offers a holistic, empathic, and joy-based pedagogical stance. Deena holds a doctorate in nature-based pedagogy and learning strategies and is also a trained yoga teacher (200 hours), restorative yoga teacher (60 hours), mindfulness meditation teacher, and published poet (The Grey Tote, Véhicule Press, 2013). Deena is a public speaker, consultant, and writer on learning and well-becoming, and owner of Awakened Learning.

Kristi Lonka

Kirsti Lonka is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Helsinki, Finland, since 2005. She is the Director of the Research Group of Educational Psychology. Kirsti is also an Extraordinary Professor at, Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa (2016-2019) and Advisory Board Member of Graduate Institute of Digital Learning and Education, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST 2015-). She is also the Science Rector of Kymenlaakso Summer University. Kirsti is a founding member of the Teachersʼ Academy of the University of Helsinki since 2013 and also their first President (2013-2014). During 2015-2017 she was the Associate Editor of Elsevier journal Learning and Instruction (Impact factor 3.8 in 2017)

Stella Fernandes

Stella Fernandez has been teaching for the past fifty-four years with a genuine love for students, whilst encouraging them to persevere with a passion. She develops new ideas and innovative practices to enthuse them to learn how to learn and to be unafraid of making mistakes as they search for answers and solutions. She creates a conducive learning environment for her students to be involved in experimentation, independent thought and discovery and being analytical, methodical and focused in pursuing the goals and targets she helps them set for themselves. Stella places great emphasis on multi-disciplinary approaches to learning and she focuses on grooming leadership talent. She loves her students to question assumptions, to experiment and to accept the false starts and dead ends that often come with doing so and to be good role models always looking for ways to improve and stay relevant in a fast-shifting world.

Prof Hanna Ragnarsdottir

Hanna Ragnarsdóttir is a professor at the School of Education, University of Iceland. She completed a BA degree in Anthropology and History from the University of Iceland in 1984, an MSc degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1986, and a DPhil in Education from the University of Oslo in 2007. Her research mainly focuses on immigrants and refugees (children, adults, and families) in Icelandic society and schools, multicultural education, and school reform.

Prof Shun-Wing NG

Dr. Ng is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Administration. He joined the teacher training career since 1987. He received his PhD in Parental involvement in School Education from Exeter University in 2002. He is presently the Director of the Aspiring Principals' Training Programmemes and the Associate Director of the Asia Pacific Centre of Leadership and Change in the Institute. Dr. Ng has published more than 20 articles in international journals and over 20 book chapters and two books. He is the editorial board member of the international journal of ‘Teacher Development’. He was the guest editor of a special issue in the International Journal of Educational Reform.

Prof Vicki Zakrzewski

Vicki gives talks, and conducts workshops around the world providing science-based ideas for promoting the social and emotional well-being of students, teachers, and administrators, as well as methods for creating positive school cultures. Her consulting work includes incorporating the life-enhancing science of compassion, empathy, gratitude, awe, and other social-emotional skills like: Futures Without Violence, the Mind and Life Institute (of which she is a fellow), the Jim Henson Company on a new television show for preschoolers, the International School of Brussels on the Common Ground Collaborative character curriculum, and Pixar/Disney on The Emotions Survival Guide—a follow-up book for children based on the movie Inside Out.

Prof Mari-Pauliina

Mari Pauliina works as Professor of Learning and Instruction at the Faculty of Education and Culture. She leads the Research Group for Education, Assessment and Learning (REAL), which operates at the universities of Tampere, Helsinki and Jyväskylä. Her background is in educational psychology and special education. Since the beginning of 2000s, she has worked on large-scale international, national and local educational assessments. Her research has focused on the development of thinking skills and learning to learn competences.

Ms Pirjo Koivula

Pirjo works as an Advisory Board Member of the United Nations Development Programmeme's (UNPD) Global Knowledge Index (GKI) in the Pre-university education and General enabling environment sectors. She has cooperated with the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in different development projects in South-Africa, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Russia as well as a short term expert in Nepal where she worked with Curriculum Development Centre of the Ministry of Education to develop the National Curriculum. Pirjo has also worked in Europe Air´s project in Turkey.

Dr Fred Mendick

Professor, Department of Psychology and Education Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Founder of Teachers Without Borders - a network that connects teachers to information and each other in order to improve the quality of teaching and accelerate student achievement. Teachers Without Borders represents 171 countries and is 99% volunteer-driven. Fred teaches Global Education, Education in Emergencies, Girls' Education, Curriculum Design, Education Change, and Modern Education Systems.

Dr David Franklin

CEO of The Principal's Desk , USA

Dr Susan Rafik Hama

School of Education, University of Iceland, Iceland