An assessment study on the impact of expected structural changes on initial teacher education system in Lithuania
The key aim of the study was to explore how initial teacher education system in Lithuania should be improved (including key selection criteria for candidates as well as the structure, process and content of pedagogical studies), taking into consideration the expected structural changes in the education system, i.e. earlier age of enrolment in pre-primary education, renewed national curricula and the development of inclusive education.
Our team has conducted an in-depth qualitative analysis of the survey results. The quantitative analysis included desk research, focus groups and semi-structural interviews with education policy makers, teacher education institutions, teachers’ educators, teachers, student teachers from United Kingdom (Scotland), Finland, the Netherlands and Estonia as well as Lithuania. Conducted analysis and comparison of Lithuanian education system with other countries on the basis of their practices and changes implemented in the education and initial teacher education during the last ten years, allowed us to distinguish the main directions for change in the Lithuanian initial teacher education system:
- higher requirements for teacher qualification;
- variety and flexibility of pedagogical studies;
- strengthening competences and capacities required for inclusive education;
- strengthening the development of pedagogical competences and professional values in initial teacher education;
- strengthening the subject knowledge and didactic training;
- creating more opportunities to acquire the competences needed for integrated education;
- assessment of motivation during the studies and early on involvement into school placements;
- comprehensive collaboration between national institutions, policymakers, teacher educators and teachers.
Hypothetical model of initial teacher education and measures for its implementation have been presented based on the analysis of this study and directions proposed to the Lithuanian teacher education system.