Patricia A. Cholewka (New York City College of Technology, CUNY)
It has been a little over twenty years since the Baltic States declared their independence from the Soviet Union. They have progressed at the politico-legal and socio-economic levels at astonishing speed–with effective results. This presentation will focus on the Lithuanian healthcare system and its rapid improvement due to its alignment in their provider educational system to European Union (EU) standards and collaborates with other European, American, and Asian universities and international organizations in research and academic activities to design and implement Western models for efficient, effective, and quality patient care. This has especially affected their nursing workforce at the Faculty of Nursing, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (in Lithuanian: Lietuvos sveikatos mokslų universitetas, and formerly, the Kaunas University of Medicine) in Kaunas, Lithuania. This academic center has not only improved its facilities, but has advanced technologically and educationally to become a major transformational center for healthcare education in Lithuania and an example for the other post-soviet transitional economies. It is the purpose of this presentation to show examples of these research and academic affiliations by the Faculty of Nursing at Lithuanian University of Health Sciences – especially its participation in an EU-U.S. trans-Atlantic grant on palliative care policy that will likely affect the care of both healthcare systems’ aging populations.
Leta Dromantienė and Irena Žemaitaitytė (Mykolas Romeris University)
The paper discusses the development of the lifelong learning (LLL) system in Lithuania, where demographic factors require people to stay in the labour market longer and the rapid development of technologies necessitates continuous learning. During the economic recession, both the Lithuanian government and citizenry are challenged by a number of new responsibilities and the ability to fulfil them. The development of in-service training has become very important in order to stay in the labour market and to successfully pursue a career. The interests of the state, employers, and individuals align in this sphere. The aim of the paper is to show the differences in the motivation of Lithuanian adult learners in their LLL participation and their attitudes towards overall lifelong learning, as well as the employers’ attitudes towards employees’ participation in LLL. An analysis of data from a quantitative survey on adult participation in LLL conducted in the frame of international project “Towards a Lifelong Learning Society in Europe: The Contribution of the Education System – LLL2010,” which strove to develop and carry out a joint research agenda for the better understanding of tensions between a knowledge-based society, LLL, and social inclusion in the context of EU enlargement and globalization. The results of survey reveal that the strategy for education and LLL skills upgrading shall contribute to future-proofing Lithuania and to the realization of the common European objectives for social cohesion and the reduction of unemployment.
Vilija Salienė (Vilnius Pedagogical University)
Educational reform in Lithuania has entered a third decade. In order to understand the present guidelines of didactics for native-language cultivation, it is necessary to analyze the origin and development of these didactics, and to discuss the fundamental guidelines. The development of didactics for the cultivation of the Lithuanian language can be divided into three stages: 1547–1940, 1940–1987, and 1988–2012.
- There is focus on the problems of perception of the read text, as well as on the relationship between reading and writing.
- Teaching of grammar is based on text.
- The approach is formed that didactics for the cultivation of language is not only the science of teaching, but also the science of learning.
- There is more focus on formal teaching of grammar and knowledge is emphasised.
- There is a departure from the didactic guidelines of 1918–1940, which emphasised the relationship between reading and writing, as well as teaching grammar based on text.
- Didactics for the cultivation of language emphasizes the explanatory way of teaching and learning.
- Explanatory teaching is changed to educational; emphasis is put on activities that stimulate production skills.
- There is focus on the cultivation of general and subject competences.
- Problems of the integration of the content for cultivation are formulated.
Bjorn Ingvoldstad (Bridgewater State University)
In addition to his work as film critic, curator, and archivist, Jonas Mekas has also secured his place in film history with his prolific series of “film diaries.” With the ascension of YouTube and the practice of video blogging (or vlogging as it is sometimes called), we might fruitfully understand Mekas’ film diaries as pre-Web vlogs. As the line between producers and consumers becomes increasingly blurred, Mekas continues to claim a position as video auteur through his eponymous website, jonasmekasfilms.com. This presentation focuses upon Mekas’ use of the Web to extend his “diary” (and its attendant archive) online. Though largely a text-based discussion, I argue for the industrial importance of online and global Baltic cinema distribution — not just in the coming years and decades, but also in the present moment.
Thomas F. Broden (Purdue University)
“I am double,” A. J. Greimas once observed; “I’m a perfect schizophrenic: I live in two languages that don’t intersect.” The scholar, known throughout the world, was a specialist in linguistics and semiotics who taught in Paris and wrote and spoke in French. Yet throughout his career, Greimas published continuously in Lithuanian. A member of the first generation to grow up in an independent Lithuania since the Middle Ages and to be schooled in Lithuanian, he published in his native tongue in order to be an active member of the greater Lithuanian community, to share his knowledge of ground-breaking trends in French intellectual life, and to defend and illustrate the language. The texts discussed in this paper reveal three facets of his oeuvre and his person quite different from his familiar academic Gallic persona.
First, whereas non-Lithuanians knew Greimas only as an “expert” in his field, he in fact functioned as a complete modern “intellectual,” publically reflecting and taking positions on a wide range of topical issues. Secondly, alongside the French linguist’s highly scientific discourse, Lithuanian readers knew Greimas as a literary critic enamored of innovative lyrical works which he presented in an emotionally rich prose. This voice stunned non-Lithuanians when they heard it for the first time in the scholar’s last sole-authored book written in French (1987). Lastly, a steady stream of scholarship in Lithuanian on comparative mythology establishes that field as a major focus of his career and figures as a central component of his ongoing intellectual legacy.
Arvydas Pacevičius (Vilnius University)
This paper introduces the concept of “egodocuments” and will attempt to reveal the prospects of interdisciplinary and regional-comparative research using private documents in Lithuania and Europe. The national project Egodocumental Heritage of Lithuania (LEGODOK) will also be introduced. First introduced by Jacques Presser in his descriptions of traumatic Jewish memories, the term “egodocument” is now widely used in research on first-person writings, such as family books, diaries, memoirs, and autobiographies. The widely accepted concept of the egodocument as writing in the first person for oneself and for close relatives has been adapted to the general theory of document and archival science in which the paradigm of cultural and historical anthropology has recently been gaining prominence. The problem is that due to the influence of historical circumstances, including confessional adherence, reading and writing strategies emerged in differing ways depending on the country and culture, and this led to a diversity of form and content of egodocuments. In Lithuania, egodocuments include chronicles of the Western type, as well as memoirs and diaries. These Western-style documents are usually written in Polish and include specific silva rerum writings and autobiographies of monks. Egodocuments written in Lithuanian, however, are composed later, and their genesis and dissemination can be best described within the fields of history of the book “from below” and marginalia research. When studying the Lithuanian egodocumental heritage one must bear in mind multilingualism and authors’ possible problematic connection to Lithuanian identity. We can conclude that egodocuments can be viewed as a set of writing and reading practices in private space which are not necessarily connected with an autobiographical narrative but which must include expression and dissemination of personality and identity.
Vytautas Petronis (Herder Institute, Germany)
This presentation discusses the origins and development of the interwar Lithuanian right-wing radical movement, focusing on its earliest stage, that is, before the coup d’état of December 17, 1926.
The first sporadic outbreaks of Lithuanian ultra-nationalism occurred in the second half of 1922. These were carried out primarily by young veterans of the wars of independence and students of the recently opened University of Lithuania in Kaunas. Both groups arguably represented what can be called the “tautininkai (nationalist) stream”— a movement which included a broad spectrum of right-wing activists from patriots to radical nationalists. To a great extent this stream can be compared to the German Völkisch movement; it was liberal, democratic and at the same time conservative, patriotic, as well as nationalistic.
During the period 1923-1927, two separate groups emerged in parallel with the “tautininkai (nationalist) stream,” operating in accordance with the right-wing political parties: 1) the pro-fascist movement, coordinated by the Christian Democrats; and 2) the “Secret Officers Union” (Slapta karininkų sąjunga), which to a great extent allied with the “Lithuanian Nationalist Union” (Tautininkai Union). These two clandestine groups operated as the enforcers of the respective political parties and aimed either at strengthening political positions of their superiors or bringing them to power.