Maija believes that it is paramount to the learning experience of today and future that students have opportunities to make connections to the world outside the school building and engage with the community around them. Learning spaces that provide opportunities to explore the environment and nature and access to make connections with outdoor learning can impact profoundly students’ engagement and ownership of learning. In her leadership roles, Maija has had a chance to promote similar respectful philosophy for learning as with her students and her teams have been empowered to make decisions about their learning. In her latest role as the Director of Professional Learning at NIST International School in Bangkok, Thailand, Maija provided professional learning opportunities for teachers all over the South East Asian region through the Professional Learning Hub @ NIST. In this role, Maija has also engaged in learning space and furniture design and was part of the six year renovation project of all learning spaces at NIST.
Maija is originally from Rovaniemi at the Arctic Circle in Finland and studied at University of Oulu, Finland in a special International Master of Education programme focusing on intercultural competencies in the field of education and learning in a multicultural classroom. Her multiple language skills have taken Maija around the world and she has taught at United Nations International School in Hanoi and New York in addition to her native Finland and latest commitment in Bangkok. She has recently finalized her studies for a Diploma of Interior Design at the International School of Colour and Design, where, whenever she could, she focused on learning spaces in her assignments. Along with working as a Senior Educational Consultant for Fielding Nair International in Bangalore, India, Maija is running workshops and professional development for students, teachers and parents about learning spaces and their impact on learning, and is engaging in conversations about learning spaces with several schools across Asia Pacific region.