Ellen Cassedy (Independent Scholar)
My paper presents findings about current Lithuanian educational and memorial approaches to the Holocaust, including efforts by the International Commission on the Soviet and Nazi Occupation Regimes, the House of Memory essay project, the Tuskulenai memorial in Vilnius, the Gallery of the Righteous at the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, projects that involve young people in Jewish cemetery restoration, and other efforts. I will place these efforts in the context of the Soviet regime and its impact on the Lithuanian population. I will offer analysis of the common threads that tie these efforts together, including their emphasis on asking questions rather than providing answers.
Aušra Rutkienė (Vytautas Magnus University)
Professionalization is a purposeful, continuous, and systematic process. It is the collecting of professional knowledge and recognition of occupation. The professionalization of adult educators, involvement in policy and decision-making, annd the development of curriculum and management strategies of the organizations (e.g. implementing a Quality Assurance strategy, programmes for validating non-formal learning) improve the quality and effectiveness of the education and training systems.
Changes in different sectors of adult education, intercultural awareness, openness, and citizenship developed equity and social cohesion. The international cooperation at individual and organizational level as well as knowledge of foreign languages make the EU education and training systems open to the wider world.
A cross-sectional online survey has been conducted in 31 countries of the EU and several non-EU countries. Ninety-eight adult teachers from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia filled out the questionnaire. The results show that the activities manage to make am impact on adult educators’ growth by strengthening the identity, self confidence and social interactions, strongly developing the professional competence and consciousness, widening the social network and inspiring them to take action on an individual, national or international level.
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.
Andrejs Kulnieks (Nipissing University)
In my paper, I investigate the intersection of Oral and Literary tradition and how this connection can be applied in a critical analysis of science and language arts curricula by conceptualizing landscape as archive through what Chet Bowers (2011) refers to as ecological intelligence. My research is informed by eco-justice educational theory in my analysis of curricular documents in order to move toward not only a critique of educational practice but also to offer concrete methods that support an ethos of sustainability. The application of a cultural and linguistic analysis of multiple literacies can help learners develop a deeper understanding of place that is an integral aspect of learning (Bowers, 2003; 2006; Martusewicz, Edmundson & Lupinacci, 2011). By revisiting the etymology of the language of stories that develop through engagements with particular landscapes and an ongoing engagement with inter-generational knowledge, I consider the importance of including eco-hermeneutic and eco-justice practices in curricula development. Eco-hermeneutic practices trace the history of words beyond their first usage to their engagement with local culture and place (Kulnieks, Longboat & Young, 2010). I conceptualize landscape as archive, as ecological – one that holds within it memory of time immemorial. My research is informed by indigenous cultural practices that encourage the ongoing revitalization of inter-generational knowledge in order to create a dialogue with ancestral knowledge. I investigate how archived mythopoetic folksongs provide insight towards examining the benefits of using archival technologies to re-examine developing deeper relationships with the places we live.
Paulis Lazda (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
Just three weeks after Latvia had regained its independence, in September 1991, seventeen students, accompanied by a Faculty Resident Director, arrived in Riga. Learning began as the students stepped off the Warsaw-Riga train with the observation that occupation –the moral equivalent of war– had ended only three weeks earlier. For the rest of the semester, history, politics and diplomacy were taught in class and “on the street.” Guest speakers included foreign diplomats, leaders of political movements, and government leaders (Andrejevs, Meri, Laar, Berklavs, Čekoulis, Zhdanoka, and others). This Semester in Latvia program was the result of a year-long negotiation between the University of Latvia and UW-Eau Claire. Parallel to but separate from the semester program in Latvia, UW-Eau Claire established a full scholarship for Baltic students for one academic year. To date, almost 50 students have studied here. The East European Area Studies Minor includes a Baltic state focus. The annual East European Symposium brings shapers of policy and academics from the Baltic, Europe, and US (Laar, Andrejevs, Jack Matlock, Krasts, Sven Juergenson, Raun, Senn, Plakans–over a hundred experts).
An annual summer Baltic/East Europe Travel Seminar attracts nation-wide student participation. University research resources include a full microfilm base of State Department-Baltic materials and a respectable book collection. Five of our student-participants have earned a Ph.D. with a Baltic focus at other universities. Future plans for the Baltic program include a national consortium of colleges and universities.
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.