About Nina

Hi there,

Thanks for visiting my blog!

I am passionate about good quality education, so I help teachers to thrive in their profession and make learning more meaningful for students. I earned my M.Ed. degree and teaching credentials from the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, then worked internationally, and am currently living, working and studying in the U.S. (as a hopeless lifelong learner I got enrolled in a doctoral program at Northeastern University, and am finishing my dissertation about Learner Agency in Spring 2016).  In addition to pedagogical consulting I mentor teachers pursuing their masters degrees in Instructional Design and Learning & Technology at Western Governors University.

My blog, talks, and writings (ninacsmith.com)  are about student-centered and learning-centered education and how students’ intrinsic motivation to learn improves their academic performance. In my book “Choosing How to Teach & Teaching How to Choose: Using the 3Cs to Improve Learning” I am sharing the native Finnish know-how of education, as well as my international teaching experiences. As you probably know, Finland has continuously shown its educational success  in OECD’s longitudinal research called PISA and is currently revising the national core curriculum to reflect phenomenon-based learning model. Awesome!

The concrete teaching experience with elementary age students as well as teenagers and adults, in addition to my studies in education and psychology are giving depth to my 3C-model of effective education, which is a framework for cognitive, constructive and cooperative learning and teaching.  This also models The Finnish Way where the 3Cs are important in:

  • Personalization: creating safe and nurturing learning environment, then expecting (and allowing) students to take a significant role in their own learning.
  • Cooperation: emphasizing collaboration over the traditional subject/discipline lines, instead of using the winner-takes-it-all mentality (including high-stakes standardized testing).
  •  Process instead of product: refocusing education from teaching to learning, and emphasizing the individual learning process over cookie-cutter teaching.

As you see, 3Cs is a model any teacher can choose to use in any educational setting regardless the curriculum they are following. We need to know how learning happens, so that we can enhance it in the classrooms. In other words, rather than assuming that it is a teacher’s job to impart wisdom to students who will somehow magically absorb it, helping students to build a knowledge base of their own makes more sense. Working with students’ need to know makes learning and teaching much more meaningful!

I can help you make a difference with your students. Even if your school or district are not buying into student centered learning practics there are many things you can do in your classroom to improve learning. My email is NotesFromNina at gmail dot com, and I would love to help!




3 Responses to “About Nina”

  1. Raunak August 14, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Hi Nina..I’ve studied in Finland as well 🙂 good to come across your blog.


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